BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Have you ever wanted to explore the mountains and canyons across Kern County?

Well, biking through the highway system in eastern Kern County will satisfy your curiosity about the scenery the Mojave Desert and Sierra Nevada have to offer.

This is what you’ll encounter during your ride.

Hwy 178-Walker Pass from Onyx

Beginning in Onyx, this 35.2-mile highway system reaches 5,264 feet in elevation.

Described as a long, gentle climb through the Kern River Valley, the only thing stopping you from completing the journey is the distance. 

According to, riders will pass California’s largest riparian cottonwood willow habitat and beautiful ranches. The scenery also includes long stretches of desert where vegetation blends with pinon pines and Joshua trees.

Your journey will end near Walker Pass Campground, which has 4.4 stars on AllTrails.

Hwy 178-Walker Pass from the East

This 16.2-mile trail picks off right where Walker Pass ends. At its highest point, the elevation also reaches 5,264 feet. The path is described as a challenge on ridewithgps, but the sights surrounding it make up for it. 

Riders will pass the large, scenic rock formation called Robber’s Roost, which has 4.8 stars on Google reviews, and a Joshua Tree forest.

The route follows a trade route used in the 1800s, according to ridewithgps.

Hwy 178-Ridgecrest to Trona Valley

Also a long trek, this 34.6-mile path crosses through the Mojave desert. At its peak elevation, it only reaches 2,453 feet. There is a sharp dip in elevation halfway through, so the second half of the trek will be an uphill battle. 

Ridewithgps calls it a twisty descent through Poison Canyon with distant views of the Trona Pinnacles, a Natural National Landmark declared by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1968. 

Ridewithgps says this trail gets hot, so it might be best to avoid it heading into the summer months when temperatures are already heading into the triple digits.

Biking not allowed here

While cyclists are free to ride on Highway 178, certain parts of Highway 14 and 58 are prohibited to riders. Fortunately, riders traveling on these highways can take these detours onto local roads and non-freeway standard state highways.

Highway 58 Bypass through Tehachapi

This route, named 58 Business, is 9.6 miles and passes through the town of Tehachapi. You’ll also pass the Lehigh Cement Plant, which has been active for over 100 years, according to ridewithgps.

Highway 58 Bypass through Mojave

This 9.2 mile route, also called Mojave Business, reaches an elevation of 3169 feet. According to ridewithgps, the route will take you near the Mojave Air and Space Port, so keep an eye out for aircrafts in the sky while you’re passing through.

Hwy 14 Bypass

This route is 13.7 miles and will take you through cities such as Actis and Rosamond.

How to keep yourself safe on the highways:

If you decide to embark on any of these trails, the Bakersfield Police Department wants to remind bicyclists of the rules of the road. It suggests using lights at night, wearing a properly secured helmet to reduce the chance of a head injury in the event of a crash, traveling in the same direction of traffic and yielding to pedestrians as any other vehicle would.

If you’d like to learn more about the highway routes in Kern County visit the website