When it comes to hiking trails in Bakersfield, the choices are pretty limited.
Thankfully Bakersfield does have a wonderful hiking area called Panorama Park located in the North-East part of the city.
Panorama Park offers a few different paths and trails for those who are looking to get some fresh air and stretch their legs outdoors. This area is also very dog friendly and on most days you can see a lot of locals walking their dogs.
The most popular trail at Panorama Park is a loop that follows along a steep cliffside also called The Bluffs. With oil rigs and ranches as its backdrop, Panorama Park has a very urban setting to it but overall this park is well maintained and has a lot of green space.
Panorama Park Loop Overview
- Panorama Park is free to visit
- Panorama Park Loop Trail is around 2 miles long
- Usually, I spend around 1-2 hours at this park
- There is plenty of street parking available along Panorama Drive
- This park is dog friendly and has doggie bags and trashcans
- There are plenty of benches and water fountains set up along Panorama Park Loop
Hiking Panorama Park Loop
Panorama Park has a couple of paths that are available for walking and hiking. Although there is no official trail, the main path follows parallel to Panorama Drive and then loops around through Panorama Park.
There is a designated Panorama Park parking lot on the corner of Panorama Drive and River Blvd but this parking lot is very small and only has a dozen or so spaces. There is usually plenty of street parking along Panorama Drive so parking is never an issue.
For the longest hiking route, I usually park my car on the street to the west of Panorama Park.
From there I walk along the Panorama Park path up to around Bucknell Street and then turn around and head back.
As you enter Panorama Park, a dirt trail will turn left and go along the ridge of the Bluffs cliff. This trail is pretty wide, flat and easy to follow.
For best views, you can go up to the cliff edge but be careful as these cliffs are pretty steep and have a 250 foot drop off.
From there you can take a trail down the cliffs towards the bottom of the Bluffs or continue along the dirt trail on top.
For this hike, I decided to stick with the flat trail at the top because my puppy was overly hyper and the hike down seemed a bit too steep and risky for his energy level.
The dirt path at the top weaves around the outer edge of the Panorama Park with views of Bakersfield and oil fields in the distance.
These oil fields contrast the lush Panorama Vista Preserve next to them that is used as a wildlife rehabilitation area. It shows that both can exist – with proper planning and resources.
The Panorama Park sidewalk has a lot of beautiful art murals that were created in 2019 as part of the Panorama Park beautification initiative.
My friend Kristen Montoya was one of the artists featured here so it’s pretty amazing to see her artwork as we hike along these trails.
Most of the artwork displayed at this park was created with a flower theme in mind and cover things like electric boxes, trashcans, water fountains and other items that typically don’t look as pleasant and natural.
Along the Panorama Park, visitors can enjoy a variety of local plants, flowers, and trees that are native to this area.
This park is also home to hundreds of squirrels and some rabbits that you’ll spot running along the trails.
They’re very cute and adorable but please refrain from feeding the wildlife as adjusting to human food can hurt them in the long run.
There are plenty of benches along the Panorama Park that visitors can use to rest and enjoy the scenery.
Despite the trees and bushes that grow at Panorama Park this trail is exposed to the sun so that’s something to keep in mind for the warmer summer months.
There are a few water fountains for humans and dogs in case you or your pup start getting thirsty.
About a mile in (around Bucknell Street) Panorama Park ends and turns into a sidewalk.
You can certainly keep going for a longer walk but usually, I’ll turn around at this point and start heading back. You can either walk back along the Panorama Park Loop or walk on the paved sidewalk.
Most of the art murals are displayed along the sidewalk so even though you’re not getting those jaw-dropping cliff views, it’s still an enjoyable walk.
Note that while Panorama Park is very dog friendly, all pets have to be leashed.
Since there are tons of squirrels running around and this park has steep cliff drop-offs, it’s really in your best interest to keep your dog leashed while walking around this park.
If you’re looking for a place to let your dog run off-leash, check out Panorama Vista Preserve located just 10 minutes away from here.
Panorama Vista Preserve has more than 930 acres of land that are open to the public. This area is also very dog friendly and dogs are allowed to be off-leash if they respond to voice command.
Here are some other great things to check out near Bakersfield: