United States

Bakersfield, CA

The Best Places to Run in Bakersfield. See Also Our Guide to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Bakersfield is an agricultural hub, located near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley on the banks of the Kern River, 110 miles north of Los Angeles. The city is surrounded by the the Sierra Nevada, Greenhorn, and Tehachapi mountain ranges, while Sequoia National Forest is just to the north. This ancestral land of Yokuts peoples is also home to a California State University campus, which contributes to a limited but memorable running scene in Bakersfield.

The best place to run in Bakersfield is the 20 mile Kern River Parkway Trail. However, more great paths can be found at CSU Bakersfield, Hart Park, and Central Park at Mill Creek. For road running, the Stockdale Country Club and Terra Vista neighborhoods offer pleasant streets and impressive homes. We’ve also developed a separate running guide for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Bakersfield is accessible via the Meadows Field Airport and the San Joaquin Amtrak Route. Once visitors arrive in the city, the most reliable form of public transportation is the Golden Empire Transit District Bus (GET Bus) system, although driving is popular too.

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Bakersfield has a sunny, dry desert-type climate with hot summers and mild winters. Runners should be aware of the summer heat, with average daily highs extending into the 90s (32-37C) from June through September. Winters are mild, with days averaging in the mid-50s (14C). Nights cool off, so a layer is needed most times of the year. Only 6 inches of rain falls annually, most of it from December to March.

There is a wide selection of hotels in Bakersfield, mostly located along the main routes 99 and 178. Find a comprehensive list of lodgings at VisitBakersfield.com.

Sole 2 Soul Sports is the signature independent running store in Bakersfield. Other chain options include Big 5 Sporting Goods, Dicks, and Finish Line.

The Bakersfield Track Club has a list of local running groups here.

The city hosts the annual Bakersfield Marathon and Half, the Kern River Trail Run, and a variety of other 5k races throughout the year.