October 24, 2019
Kernville Kampout—the motorcycle funfest we host every October in the heart of California's Southern Sierras—turned five this year. If you've never ridden to Frandy Campground to party on the shores of the Kern River, you don't know what you're missing. This year, 1,000 men and women motored into Kernville on a warm autumn day for a weekend of boozing, snoozing, cruising, camping and live music. The sleepy mountain town that's hosted every Kernville Kampout since 2015 treats us like royalty, a rarity when so-called "crazy bikers" are involved. Truth be told, the motorcyclers we bring to town every October are no crazier than the thousands of hikers, cyclers, kayakers, and anglers who flock to Kernville the other 51 weekends a year.
"Okay," you're saying. "I'm sold—I just don't like to sleep in the dirt." No problem. Because Kernville and the surrounding area offers so many diversions, the tiny town's hospitality industry is brisk—everything from campgrounds and hippy hostels to 4-star hotels and Air BNB cabins.
Proper choppers arrive in force at the Kernville Kampout.
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We pack a lot of food, fun, and live music into every Kernville Kampout for its 50-bucks-per-head entry fee, but one thing we can't guarantee at Frandy Campground is peace and quiet. Think about it: if just 1% of a thousand campers gets drunk enough to do something stupid, that's ten people hitting the rev limiter, doing burnouts, or hollering at the moon. If you like warm blankets, soft pillows, and dead silence after a day of hell raising, we've got you covered. There are dozens if not hundreds of great campgrounds, hotels, and Air BNB's in and around the Kernville area. These are some of our favorites…
Click here for a quick search of campgrounds in Kernville and the surrounding area. When you see a place you like, give the camp operator a call—Kernville is a busy destination, so places fill up fast.
Like Frandy Campground on the opposite side of Kernville Road bridge, Camp Kernville is on the shores of the Kern River in the heart of downtown. Great camping options here include primitive tent spaces as well as pull-through spaces with full hookups for trailers and motorhomes. No RV? No problem—Kernville Campground has air conditioned units for rent.
Our resident powderpuff McGoo camped at the first Kernville hoedown, but CA-legal Scooby Snacks got the best of him, and he hasn't been seen in a tent since. Air BNB is McGoo's jam, and these are his favorites.
This freestanding home is within walking distance of Frandy Camp, and has five beds to accommodate up to eight guests.
Yellow Jacket Retreat can sleep four guests in two beds, making it perfect for a two-bro combo with their old ladies.
Cozy, clean and two blocks from downtown, McGoo's wife proclaimed this Air BNB her favorite when the newlyweds stayed there in 2018. Amenities include a well-stocked coffee stand, cozy fireplace and a nice bathroom with shower and tub.
Secluded, stylish and large, this refined yet rustic cabin can sleep five guests in three bedrooms, and has private views of the Kern River from its wood deck. Perfect for bikeriders whose ladyfriends want all the comforts of home.
Another freestanding home, this comfortably appointed unit features four beds to sleep up to six guests, and is outside of town for added peace and quiet.
Kern River teams with life when Kernville Kampers roll into town. Some of that life ends up on a hook.
Swimming, fishing, and hidden watering holes abound up and down the length of Kern River. If skinny dipping ain't your jam, ride your freedom machine to the Trail of 100 Giants. This National wilderness reserve features some of the tallest trees in North America.
Soothing to the mind, body and soul, Kern Hot Spring is the perfect place to rinse off a day of hard riding and easy living.
Because Kernville is so small (1,200 full-time residents call the place home) and such a popular destination for so many kinds of adventurers, local hotels tend to fill up fast. Booking.com is our favorite resource for finding good places to stay when your destination is so far off the beaten path.
Doc is our resident warehouse asskicker and full-time Dyna guy, and he recommends Sequoia Lodge personally. Three miles north of downtown Kernville ensures max privacy, and there's a quiet breakfast joint across the street for good eats.
Nestled in the foothills of California's Southern Sierras, Kernville is the place Dave Mann chopper dreams are made of.
Ride 'em, don't hide 'em. The Kernville Kampout Bike Show has something for everyone, with only one rule: you must ride your bike to the event to be eligible for judging.
We haven't announced the dates for the 2020 Kernville Kampout, but you can pencil in October 2-3. We'll update the website www.kernvillekampout.com and put it out on our instagram page once we 100% confirm the dates. Keep in mind that entry to the Kernville Kampout is still $50 per person whether you camp there or stay somewhere else and just show up for the entertainment. We generally put tickets on sale around May and they sell out quickly, so keep any eye out for that announcement. Hope to see you next year!