Bakersfield Warnings and Dangers
Bakersfield was rated #32 on a list of the most dangerous metro areas in America in 2015, according to crime data from the FBI. However, some of the more persistent dangers come from the environment and not violent crime
During summers, Bakersfield, like most other central California cities, suffers from horrible air quality. This varies according to a number of weather related factors, but any time the air is still and the temperatures high, watch out! An air-conditioned hotel room is a must for an overnight stay here during summer. Traffic, oil, winemaking, and the dairy industry all contribute to bad air, but even the dust from dry soil will float into the air here.
It gets VERY hot during summer (July-August is the worst) so if you can’t handle the heat, this isn’t the place for you during the hot months. If you go, make sure you drink at least one liter of water per day, preferably two.
When you are in the old downtown area, just keep in mind that there are a couple of homeless shelters in that area, so at times you will be approached by those in need. So keep some spare change handy, if you want to.
Stay away from The Lakeview/MLK Blvd. and Cottonwood districts at night. Some parts of South Oildale can be rough as well. Rexland Acres, 6th Street, Park Central, and East Bakersfield also have some rough areas.
The cool, calm-looking Kern River appeals to many when the temperature heats up, but don’t be deceived. The river can be deadly. Retired Kern County police officer Stephen DelTour says, “The Kern River is, in my opinion, the most dangerous river in the world.” There’s a sign at the canyon that states the number of people that have died, but it’s often overlooked. Find a safer way to cool off.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Bakersfield.