Democrat Picnic Area Several locals in the town of Lake Isabella suggested that reporter Martín check out natural hot springs about 12 miles south of the lake, along the banks of the Kern. The banks here are flat, the emerald green water is deep and the view of rolling hills, dappled with willow and oaks on the opposite shore, is gorgeous. The screech of a red-tailed hawk breaks the silence. Martín spots an angler in a bucket hat who says he hooked a monster trout here a day earlier. The angler also tells him he knows the directions to the hard-to-find hot springs. Never mind, Martín says as he casts a line upstream; he'll unwind right here. From Lake Isabella, follow California 178 south about 12 miles toward Bakersfield and look for signs for the campground on the right. Water, bathrooms and barbecues are available.
Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
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