Made in Kern County: Tejon Ranch

Posted at 5:11 PM, Mar 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-03 20:12:06-05

Less than a hour south of Bakersfield just off Interstate five, the largest privately owned piece of land in the state with history dating back to the days before Kern County was even established. 


Tejon Ranch 270-thousand acres of quintessential California. Oak trees paint the hillsides, wild flowers cover open meadows and elk and cattle roam this land just as they have for nearly 200-years. But Kern County’s most treasured land remains a mystery to so many. 


On our 'Made in Kern County' shoot we were given exclusive access to the property to show, and share with you all the opportunities this land has to offer—a land that separates Bakersfield and Los Angeles in perhaps the most beautiful way. 


Our tour begins with Mike Campeau, Vice President of ranch operations. Taking us behind the gates at Tejon Ranch. “We consider ourselves stewards of the land, the last thing we want to see is this land harmed in anyway,” said Campeau. 


Stewards of the land that dates to 1843 established as a Mexican land grant. Explorer and ranch founder General Edward Fitzgereld Beale settled Tejon, and in 1912, Harry Chandler the publisher of the Los Angeles Times purchased Tejon Ranch knowing the important of this land for the future.


Campeau will tell you, that future is here. “Where else can you go this close to Los angeles, this close to Bakersfield and have this type of opportunity.” 


The opportunities of Tejon Ranch are nearly endless. Thousands of acres of vineyards, almonds, pistachios, cattle ranching plus oil exploration...and did you know the California Aqueduct travels through Tejon Ranch? 


This land, this backdrop also popular with Hollywood.  Tejon ranch visible car commercials, music videos and blockbuster movies. 


But you probably recognize Tejon Ranch for their latest project, the Outlets at Tejon Bakersfield’s closest and most diverse shopping just 30 minutes from town.


The Tejon commerce center featuring the most profitable Starbucks in the the state and 5th in the country.

And last year the Board of Supervisors approving the ‘Grapevine Community’. 12,000 residential units, with more than five million square feet of commercial space, to be built north of south of I-5 at the base of the grapevine.


The founders, and now the caretakers of Tejon Ranch say preserving this special land is to think about future generations of kern county families.


”Our kids and our kids kids’ and grandkids who are going to need a place to live, and work who are going to need a place to enjoy the legacy of old California and that’s all wrapped up in Tejon Ranch,” said Zohler. 


Construction on those new projects expected begin in the next several years. 

But in the meantime the public will have an opportunity to experience Tejon Ranch with their explorer program. 


A chance for families to connect with the majestic ranch just miles from home. 


”It gives people the opportunity for a membership fee to come up and enjoy 25-thousand acres of Tejon Ranch.


Officials say visitors will be able to mountain bike, hike, camp, ride horses and have access to other member only activities  and amenities.


For more information on Tejon Ranch, and the explorer program, click here.