Kennedy Meadows -- The Jewel of the Southern Sierra


Toward the source of Fish Creek near Smith Meadow


Kennedy Meadows Annual  Tractor Parade

At the General Store



The Undiscovered Southern Sierra     

At Home in Kennedy Meadows

Just 3 hours from Pasadena or Ontario, Kennedy Meadows offers large open-space, close-by fishing in streams with both native and stocked fish, and thousands of miles of roads and hiking trails in the southern Sierras. 

The Pacific Crest Trail ambles through here along the banks of the South Fork, Kern River. It’s a paradise for equestrians, for whom any property is horse property, and who can take a pleasant afternoon ride or a two-week pack trip.

Winters are generally mild and the main road is plowed.  Snow often disappears from the blacktop in a day. And in winter, spring is always just around the corner—a 45-minute drive to the scenic desert below.

And 20 minutes above Kennedy Meadows, the “high country” offers tall trees, back roads, jeep roads, and hundreds of miles of little-used hiking trails along streams that meander through flowering meadows. Hikers and horsemen can head all the way to Canada, or just into world-class hiking in the Sierras.


 In the High Country: Casa Vieja Meadow

You're surrounded here by the natural beauty of wilderness areas:  the Sacatar Trail Wilderness, Owens Peak Wilderness to the east, and the Domeland Wilderness and the South Sierra Wilderness to the north, west and south.

Kennedy Meadows is the only place like it that the 18 million residents of southern California cities can reach within a few hours of driving, yet it’s close enough for an LA resident to reach on a Friday night and then return home relaxed late Sunday afternoon. 

Kennedy Meadows is ready for limited growth. It now has telephone service. Small propane tanks can be filled at the General Store, and large tanks via service by Suburban Propane and others. 

Electricity for a mountain retreat used primarily on weekends is cheaply provided by small, quiet generators that deliver 1,000 watts, running for 14 hours on a half-gallon. Many properties have small solar-electric systems and some also use inexpensive wind systems to generate electricity. Heating is provided by free wood, readily available, or by propane heaters. 


The Kennedy Meadows Property Owners Association, which was instrumental in bringing in telephone service, is currently focusing on a comprehensive community fire prevention program, using government grants. KMPOA annual activities include the spring barbeque and road cleanup.

Kennedy Meadows has a general store, which also serves as a social hub, with summer potluck dinners, BBQs, an outdoor restaurant and patio and an outdoor amphitheater with free weekend movies, used for church services on Sunday mornings.


Residents use nearby Ridgecrest for most shopping and services. The town offers a Wal-Mart, Kmart, Home Depot, Starbucks and others, as well as a Cinemax theater with stadium seating, ethic restaurants, book store, boutiques, cafes, antique shops and a desert museum as well as a golf course, swimming pools, indoor health club and yoga studio at Ridgecrest Athletic Center. 

Ridgecrest has a large medical facility, urgent care center and emergency clinic and many medical and dental professionals. Other hospitals and medical centers, including the prestigious Loma Linda facility, are within a 2-hour drive in Bakersfield, Palmdale, and the Inland Empire.

If recreation around Kennedy Meadows isn’t enough, residents can drive 2.5 hours to skiing at Mammoth, or 2 hours to Death Valley. The nearby Owens Valley is a treasure trove of little-explored roads, trails, and canyons.