Headquarters Campground | Kern River
I wasn't always a lover of camping, but I've always loved the outdoors. My experiences camping included finding scorpions in my shoes in the morning, forgetting important things behind, bugs, etc. As I got older and have recently re-connected with the outdoors, I have found a love for camping once again! Call me a born again camper. Being born and raised in Central California, close to campgrounds, and being raised my a family of outdoors and nature enthusiasts, it wasn't hard to realize what I've been missing.
Kern River is one that I find myself going back to many times. It's close enough to LA where we can easily leave on a Friday and spend two nights, but far enough to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Headquarters Campground is our go to at Kern. If you plan in advanced, you might be able to even book a river front campsite. Hobo is one that's been on our list for a while, but since it's first come first serve, I always get hesitant when taking a chance. Go go go!
Bonus! Visit Remington Hot Springs if you have a chance on your way out. I've been reading/hearing from other campers that it's been drained or over flowing recently. This worries me as it's usually taken care of by a few locals in the area. If you make it, it's a great way to relax and unwind after a weekend of camping or hiking. You can't beat the views. The hot springs are located 2 miles west of Hobo Campground on the Old Kern Canyon Road. A 1/4 mile hiking trail descends 300 feet down to the hat springs along the Kern River.
When to go: Headquarters Campground is open year round. Summer is best (July-Mid September) if you're interested in floating and swimming. I've gone in November and the weather was perfect, but the water was too cold. Tired of cheap beer, top ramen and hot dogs? Get away and stop by the Kern River Brewery for a frito-pie lunch (it was delicious) and a beer. It's an easy 15 minute drive away.
What to bring: Bring your usual camping gear. Floats and swimsuits suggested for the Summer. There are a ton of flies here in the Summer, so citronella candle, bug spray and nets would be handy. It gets cold at night, so make sure to pack layers and plenty of blankets.
Things to note: There were a few deaths in 2017 due to the high, fast waters. Be careful when swimming.