BAKERSFIELD, CA. — Ahead of the 4th of July holiday, Kernville is expecting to see a record number of visitors this weekend.
“Campsites are already getting full as of today," said Gary Ananian, Kern River Conservancy founder. "We anticipate the campsites to be full as of tomorrow or Thursday morning."
Kernville has seen a hike of up to 15,000 visitors on the weekends since the pandemic began and that number is expected to almost double for the 4th of July holiday weekend.
“I can probably see 25,000 to 30,000 coming up here now that the beaches in LA are closed," said Ananian. "Yosemite is also closed and places that used to be open are now closed again, so that’s just gonna cause more people to come up here."
Planning ahead of camping or day-use activities is key to a safe weekend.
“In the last two weeks we’ve seen multiple rescues in the river. We’ve already had two drownings so the rapids are fast and we don't recommend anyone to go down there unless you're with a rafting company," said Ananian.
Kernville will not host any public firework shows and they are asking visitors to leave fireworks at home.
“They are 100% illegal in the Sequoia National Forest, Lake Isabella, and Kern River. We are very prone to fires up here in the mountains," said Ananian.