Activities and Attractions
Fishing, Hiking, Wildlife, Scenery
Tips and Tricks
Kern Vally airport is a hidden gem tucked in a canyon immediately north of Isabella Lake in the lower Sierra Nevada mountains. It is another world and only 115 nm from Long Beach.
The prevailing winds typically mean landing south and the approach to the airport alone is worth the trip. As you fly downwind you must keep your height and stay pretty close to the airport due to the proximity of the western portion of the canyon, it seems like you could reach you hand out and touch the rocks outside. As you turn base you then face the eastern wall of the canyon as you quickly turn on to final over the upper Kern river.
Once you touchdown you have the choice of taxiing to a beautiful tree shaded campground by the river on the western side of the north south runway or taxiing down hill to transient parking and the wonderful little Airport Cafe. The cafe whose future was guaranteed by a local man who left money in his will to ensure the little eatery would stay open after he went to the happy airport in the sky.
When you depart you can choose to follow the lower Kern river to the southwest and fly the valley to the large central valley of California near Bakersfield. Alternatively you may need to circle over Isabella Lake and fly straight south maybe stopping to have a look at the crazy civilian space industry at the Mojave Airport (itself a great destination).
What ever routes you choose, L05 is an unforgettable flight.
Kern Valley Airport (L05)
50 min (with departure from KLGB)
35.75 N 118.42 W
Quick Stop, Weekender