Bakersfield Field Office

Recreation Program

San Joaquin River Gorge Picnic Area

The Bakersfield Field Office manages an area  from the beautiful California coastline to the peaks of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. As many recreation opportunities exist as there are varied landscapes, from camping in remote Wilderness to visiting the historic Piedras Blancas Lightstation. Whether you’re looking for the thrill of whitewater, the excitement of prospecting for gold or maybe just an appreciation for the beauty of the natural world, there is something for every taste within the National System of Public Lands managed by the Bakersfield Field Office.

The Bakersfield Field Office territory is geographically divided into three distinct regions, each offering a unique and interesting landscape for recreation, and although basic opportunities for recreational activities are similar, the outcomes and experiences achievable within each region vary.

 Cartoon image of the three management areas within the Bakersfield Field Office territory.


Scenic view of Coast from Pt. Sal

Scenic view of Carrizo National Monument

Scenic view of the San Joaquin River from the San Joaquin Special Recreation Management Area

Coast Management Area

Valley Management Area

South Sierra Management Area

Icon showing recreation activity symbols.Icon showing recreation activity symbols.Icon showing recreation activity symbols

Coast Recreation Activities

Valley Recreation Activities

South Sierra Recreation Activities


The  Coast Management Area


offers some of the most  unique experiences for wildlife watching and historical interpretation in the agency. The coast is generally mild all year, seasonally moist and sometimes foggy. Public lands in this region are woven through a mixture of National Forest, State Parks and Private Property, allowing visitors ample opportunities for many recreational activities. Highlights in this region include visiting the Piedras Blancas Light Station at the Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area for a tour of the historic light house, enjoying the scenic views of the California Coastal National Monument and catching a glimpse of Elephant Seals and California Sea Otter along the shoreline. 

The Valley Management Area
is best known for its agricultural lands and oilfields, however recreation opportunities from Off-Highway Vehicle touring, to wildlife viewing and hunting can still are found. The valley has hot dry summers with long sunny days. In winter the area is moist and often blanketed with heavy fog. Public lands in this region include the
Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Atwell Island restoration project, both offering exceptional opportunities for watchable wildlife.

The South Sierra Management Area
is best known for its National Parks and Forests; however plenty of recreational experiences are ready to be had within the National System of Public Lands. The climate here varies greatly from hot dry summers and mild rainy winters in the foothills to cold and snowy winters and cool summers at higher elevations. It’s in this region the best opportunities for unconfined recreation, solitude and isolation can be found in one of the many congressionally designated Wilderness Areas. Other highlights of the region include the Pacific Crest Trail, Whitewater rafting the Kern River and the Keyesville and San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Areas. 


What's New?

 The BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS)


The BLM's NLCS contains some of the West's most spectacular landscapes and outstanding recreation opportunities.  The Bakersfield Field Office includes the following NLCS units:

Carrizo Plain National Monument


Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area


A section of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

Several Wilderness Areas





Special Recreation Permits

California State Recreation

Bakersfield Field Office

Recreation Management

 Recreation Opportunities:
South Sierra

Carrizo Plain 
National Monument

Piedras Blancas 
Outstanding Natural Area

Point Sal

Recreation Activities:
South Sierra



For additional information,    go to the 
2014 Bakersfield RMP
(Resource Management Plan)


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Contact Information

Outdoor Recreation Planner 


Bureau of Land Management

Bakersfield Field Office

3801 Pegasus Drive

Bakersfield, CA 93308

(661) 391 - 6000