Los Angeles Day Trips: Escape to Keough Hot Springs, Bishop, CA

Don Simkovich, MA
So Cal Live Work Play
6 min readApr 9, 2019

Want a road trip out of Los Angeles near or far? Sometimes we just need to get away for several hours or a few days.

No kids to worry about. The truth struck me on a Thursday in mid-March and I urged my wife to escape up Highway 395 to the Keough Hot Springs. She agreed but I hesitated on Friday afternoon. The drive from our house in Pasadena was about three hours and forty-five minutes one way. But why not? So it was all systems go on Saturday morning when we drove onto the 210 freeway at eight a.m.

Wild beauty at a rest stop north of Lone Pine, March 2019

Driving to Bishop

We get refreshed in different ways and driving along Highway 395 actually rejuvenates me. You leave the urban sprawl after driving the 210 freeway, hitting the 5 north for a couple of miles and veering north onto Highway 14. Hills filled with houses and flat spaces stuffed with industrial parks fades away while heading toward Palmdale. This isn’t virgin wilderness but the landscape changes into red rocks and scrub brush in a desolate way that I find appealing.

Antelope Valley — the High Desert — One Hour Plus from Pasadena

The first view of the Antelope Valley is Lake Palmdale and the California Aqueduct winding through the High Desert. No one would say that WalMart shopping centers and car dealerships are a sight to behold, but hitting this stretch of road is a different world from Pasadena.

You get a sense of flying along while heading through Palmdale, Lancaster and heading to the dusty, gritty interchange of Mojave.

Access to the golden poppy fields is out of Lancaster.

Mojave, Rosamond and Edwards Air Force Base — Kern County — 1 ½ hours from Pasadena

A number of stops make Highway 14 intriguing. This middle-of-nowhere feeling ninety minutes from our home is the gateway to private space exploration. Edwards Air Force base was the landing place for space shuttles and their sonic booms over the San Gabriel Mountains near our house.

The Mojave Air and Space Port was licensed in 2004 as the first facility in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft.

Don Simkovich, MA
So Cal Live Work Play

Don is co-author of the Tom Stone Detective novels on Amazon and writes content for businesses. Visit Don Simkovich Amazon.