All areas of the refuge are closed to the public unless otherwise explicitly posted as an auto tour route, nature trail, photo blind, or parking lot. Some areas are closed seasonally and are posted as such.
The following rules apply except where otherwise posted:
Visitors to National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all applicable local, State, Federal regulations and signs.
Hours- Kern National Wildlife is open daily from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Fees- There are no fees to use the auto tour routes, nature trails, photo blinds, or parking lots.
Permits- There are no permits required to use the auto tour routes, nature trails, photo blinds, or parking lots.
State/Federal permits are required for activities that are traditionally highly regulated (such as hunting or fishing) or otherwise prohibited. Common examples include:
A refuge Special Use Permit (SUP) is required to enter closed areas or conduct activities that are otherwise prohibited (ex. wildlife trapping and tagging). For more information contact the refuge manager for the area where the proposed activity will occur at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters: (661)-725-2767.
Speed- Speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.
Open Areas- Areas open to public use will be posted as such. Road entrances to public use areas have a large brown sign, open gates, posted hours, or tour route signs. Areas open to the public include designated auto tour routes, nature trails, parking lots, and photo blinds.
Closed Areas- Areas closed to the public include all property that is not explicitly posted as an area open to the public including an auto tour route, nature trail, parking lot, or photo blind. Closed areas boundaries are posted along accessible areas with signs that may list the following: "UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY PROHIBITED", "AREA BEYOND THIS SIGN CLOSED All public entry prohibited." Visitors must stay our of posted closed areas. Visitors that enter posted closed areas are trespassing and are subject to law enforcement action including citations.
All areas of the refuges are CLOSED to public entry unless explicitly posted as a public use area. Visitors must comply with ALL posted rules and regulations, in addition to what is listed below, except where otherwise permitted/posted.
Kern Visitor Map
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American bitterns are almost always solitary and can be difficult to see. They often hide among wetland vegetation, walking slowly as they forage. American bitterns typically hunt in low light, catching food with their bill and killing prey with biting or shaking movements. Flight is stiff and fairly clumsy with rapid wingbeats.