HWY. 178 / Kern River Canyon Route
This is the route to take from Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Bakersfield etc.
HWY. 178 / Walker Pass Route
This is the best route from San Diego, San Bernadino, Riverside, Ontario and the lower desert communities. Take 15 to the 395 and go North to Inyokern - Go west (or left over the highway) on 178 to the 14 - South (or left) on 14 to 178 / Lake Isabella turnoff. This is also the safest route compared to the canyon access. ( Less curves and tight lanes, for you RV'ers and boaters ) Steep grade climb up 178 from the 14 (Watch your temp gauge on hot days).
HWY. 155 / Greenhorn - Alta Sierra Route
This is a beautiful mountain drive from Fresno, Visalia areas and even North Bakersfield. Take 155 East from the 65 toward Glennville then up and over the Greenhorn Mountains right into Wofford Heights. (And right into the lake if you don't watch your brakes.) Steep, steep 13% downgrade from Alta Sierra; use low gears. Chains are required when the snow falls.
HWY. 190 - Mtn. 99 / Porterville Route
This is the prettiest route of all! (Till the snow falls; then forget it unless you're on a snowmobile.) Take 190 East from the 65 - through Springville and up over Quaking Aspen through Ponderosa and down Mtn. 99 along the upper Kern River into Kernville. Stop at the "Trail of a Hundred Giants" and see the Redwoods. Don't worry about chains, you won't get close if it flakes.