Get outside: Five outdoorsy daytrips


A scenic shot of the Wind Wolves mountain range.

Natalie Page


While it’s no Los Angeles or San Francisco, Bakersfield offers plenty of sights and interesting locations to check out. Several longtime Bakersfield residents have suggested some outdoorsy day trip sites in and around Bakersfield. In just a short drive (under an hour), locals can find themselves in beautiful countryside or nature filled with activities for all ages.

Wind Wolves Preserve

Wind Wolves Preserve is a nature preserve on the outskirts of southwest Bakersfield. When visitors are there, they can expect to find flowers of all varieties, panoramic views of the city, and extensive hiking trails. Visitors can also spot Tule elk on the grounds.

“Wind Wolves is a really cool place if you want to go out in the wilderness and explore,” said liberal studies major and sophomore Teresa Inguiz.“You can camp there too, if you’re into that. They have tours all the time. I’d recommend it.

“I love hiking up there,” said Dale Wolfe, who has lived in Bakersfield since 1980. “There’s a lot of animals and nature up there. I just like the peacefulness of it.”

Wind Wolves is situated southwest of Interstate 5, at 16019 Maricopa Highway. The park is a 28-mile drive from California State University, Bakersfield. No entrance fee is required.

Murray Family Farms

Murray Family Farms is a chain of family-owned fruit and vegetable farms with three locations on the outskirts of town. Visitors can tour the farms, learn about farming, and enjoy some produce.

“Murray Family Farms is amazing,” said Bakersfield resident Manpreet Brar. “It has all the different types of fruits and vegetables, cherries, strawberries, and many more. You can pick them right off the tree. They also have a maze and pumpkins just in time for Halloween.”

Murray Family Farms’ flagship location, the Big Red Barn, is east of town and accessible via Highway 58. It is 22 miles away from CSUB by car. The smaller Little Purple Barn, located next to Interstate 5, is 21 miles away from CSUB. There is a third farm in Arvin.

River’s End Rafting

River’s End Rafting organizes whitewater-rafting tours along the Kern River. Rafters don their life jackets and helmets and use paddles to ride inflatable rafts at an exhilarating pace.

“The rafting tour was a lot of fun,” said Shane Palmer, a Bakersfield resident. “It was relaxing and exciting at the same time. You could see all sorts of nature. I think it’s cool that there’s something like that in Bakersfield.”

River’s End Rafting is located on Highway 178, 18 miles Northeast from CSUB. According to its website, it is the closest whitewater rafting outfitter to the Los Angeles area. Visitors can book trips online or by calling their number, (661) 326-7003.

The Panorama Bluffs

On the hillier northeast side of Bakersfield, local adventurers can find the Panorama Bluffs. The expansive view and eastern location is ideal for watching the sunrise, but there is still plenty of room to watch the sunset as well. People can also hike on the bluffs or sit on benches along the trail.

“I’d definitely recommend the bluffs to someone looking to take peaceful walks or find a quiet place to just sit and think,” said Dee Fernandez. “It’s a great place to just be free with your thoughts, or take a loved one. I love the view. It’s great for stargazing as well.”

As its name suggests, the Panorama Bluffs are along Panorama Drive. The largest public park along the area is Panorama Park. It is a 12-mile drive from CSUB. East-siders enjoy a much closer drive, since Bakersfield College sits adjacent to the bluffs.

The California Living Museum (CALM)

CALM is a 14-acre zoo just northeast of Bakersfield. Visitors can find animals ranging from deer to snakes and eagles, and they can also visit the petting zoo with more garden-variety animals like goats and sheep. The zoo staff added the coast room, which allows visitors to view marine life from the California coast.

“I would recommend CALM to anyone looking for a nice family outing,” said Fernandez. “It’s a great place to take kids, get some steps in, and enjoy some fresh air.”

CALM is on Alfred Harrell Highway. It is 20 miles from CSUB. Adults pay $9 for admission, children ages 3 to 12 pay $5, seniors pay $7, and children under 3 are free.