Where to Stay
The drive to Kennedy Meadows from the LA area is easy, but driving back the same day puts many driving hours in the same day. So it's a lot more relaxing if you stay overnight nearby.
Near Lake Isabella, you'll drive up the north fork of the Kern from Kernville and over Sherman Pass, seeing the "high country". (Sherman Pass is closed by snow in winter). To get there, turn left off Rt 14 onto Rt 178 before you reach Inyokern. We like Whispering Pines Lodge Bed & Breakfast in Kernville:
WHISPERING PINES LODGE
13745 Sierra Way
Kernville, CA 93238
Fax: (760) 376-6513
The closest small city to Kennedy Meadows, it's a friendly place, and offers numerous services. Follow signs for Inyokern from Rt 14 (or stay on the 395 if you're coming from San Bernardino/Riverside. We like the Carriage Inn:
The Carriage Inn
901 N. China Lake Blvd.
Ridgecrest, California 93555
(760) 446-7910 or 1-800-77-ATLAS
Now there's also a Marriott in Ridgecrest.
Kernville, Ridgecrest and Kennedy Meadows: