Tehachapi is the go-to spot for animal lovers everywhere. Whether it’s alpacas, cats or exotic creatures, there’s plenty to see around town.
Swing by the Adorable Alpacas ranch for a day and visitors will be greeted by fuzzy adorable alpacas of all colors, shapes and sizes.
Adorable Alpacas, located at 24815 Cummings Valley Road, provides stud services, alpaca sales and boarding, according to its website. It is a boutique eco-conscious Adorable Alpaca ranch specializing in building elite Huacaya alpaca herds and fiber for spinning and knitting. Ranchers have won first place and color champion ribbons at various competitions.
Visitors will find two types of alpacas at the ranch when they come by for a tour: Huacaya (ones that look like fuzzy teddy bears) and Suri (ones that have dreadlock-like fiber), according to the ranch’s website.
Tours are available from noon to 4 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors will get up close to the alpacas and learn about their different personalities and the process of spinning fiber into yarn.
Reservations can be made by calling 661-805-3895 or emailing AdorableAlpacas@aol.com. Hours of operation change frequently, so visitors should verify ranch hours before they arrive for their tour. If gates are closed, call the ranch and wait for a tour guide to arrive.
There is also a gift shop available with hand spun yarn from the ranch’s alpacas as well as sweaters, scarves, gloves, socks, hats, blankets and toys.
For more information on the ranch and tours, visit https://www.adorablealpacas.com.
Windswept Ranch Petting Zoo
The Windswept Ranch Petting Zoo, an exotic animal ranch, features more than 126 animals, including reindeer, camels, zebras, buffalo, yaks, emus and guanacos. Some of the animals have even been rescued.
The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays from April to October. Admission is $5, and children 3 and under are free.
Windswept Ranch offers a petting zoo and a playground for children with swings, a play fort and a tire hill. Camel rides are also available for $10 on the last Saturday of each month.
Since it’s a working ranch, guests can feed the animals carrots and pet them. The cost is $2 for the first bucket and $1 for the refills.
There is also a shaded picnic area.
For more information, visit the zoo’s Facebook page or call 809-3965. The ranch is located at 11101 Robert Ranch Road in Willow Springs.
Kern Audubon Society Bird Watching
There are plenty of birds flying and chirping around Tehachapi, which makes it a great area to do a little bird watching.
All bird watchers are welcomed to join the Kern Audubon Society during its monthly trips. More experienced “birders” will help newcomers identify species and their distinguishing features.
The society travels to various locations across Kern County and neighboring areas. Bird watchers have visited places such as the Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Wind Wolves Preserve, Tule Elk State Reserve, Kern River Preserve, Atwell Island Restoration Project and Carrizo Plain National Monument.
Kern Audubon Society usually schedules field trips on Saturdays and occasionally on Sundays or weekday mornings. Information about where to meet for each field trip is announced in the society’s monthly newsletter, Audubon’s Warbler, and Facebook page.
The Kern Audubon Society usually meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.
Feline Conservation Center — The Cat House
The Exotic Feline Breeding Compound’s Feline Conservation Center, also known as the Cat House, is where visitors will find more than 70 of the world's most endangered felines, spanning more than 16 species. These include: tiger, jaguar, cougar, snow leopard, bobcat, Canada lynx and four subspecies of leopards.
Located at 3718 60th St. W. in Rosamond, the Cat House is a conservation center and research facility. Funds received are used to support the compound's animals and build a natural history museum and public education programs.
Most of the compound is open for visitors to wander at their own pace. Information plaques describe the cat species, and docents are available on the grounds to answer questions. The center does not have moats between guests and the animals, so visitors can get as close as 5 feet from the cats.
Some parts of the compound are not open to the public, such as where some of the smaller, high-strung species of cats and older cats are located. However, during Twilight Tours, the entire facility is available for viewing.
Tours, which range in prices, can be scheduled in advance between 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call (661) 256-3793 ext. 0 to schedule a tour and learn more.
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, but it is closed on Wednesdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Feline Follies Day. General admission costs $10, seniors 60-plus and active duty military with ID cost $8 and children 3-12 cost $5.
For more information, visit http://www.cathouse-fcc.org/index.html or call 661-256-3793 or 3332.
Bear Valley Springs Equestrian Center
Equestrians can find several amenities to make themselves and their horses feel right at home at the Bear Valley Springs Equestrian Center, located at 26800 Bear Valley Road.
The center offers full service boarding for members, a motel for overnight guests and a campground with restroom facilities. There are six arenas available that feature different riding disciplines, such as dressage, driving, cattle events and jumping, according to the center’s website. Additionally, there is a multipurpose ring that can be used for gymkhanas and reining. The center hosts several events from May 1 through Oct. 31, so visitors are encouraged to check with local equestrian clubs for their schedules.
Bear Valley Springs considers its 50-mile trail system the “jewel” of the area. Trails vary in difficulty from flat meadows to high mountain terrain.
Office hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and facilities can be used from dawn to dusk. For more information, visit https://www.bvsa.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&page_id=5004 and call 661-821-3960.
Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue
Marley’s Mutts is a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, trains and rehomes death row dogs from Kern County’s animal shelters, according to its website. For more information, call 661-556-7178, email email@example.com or visit marleysmutts.org.
Tehachapi Humane Society
The Tehachapi Humane Society’s goal is to prevent animal cruelty and reduce pet overpopulation by providing assistance with the cost of the spay or neuter surgery. For more information, call 661-823-0699 or visit http://tehachapihumanesociety.com.
Have-a-Heart Humane Society
Have-a-Heart Humane Society rescues abandoned, abused and injured animals, provides low-cost vaccinations and spay/neuter programs and educates the community about responsible pet ownership. For more information, call 661-822-5683, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://haveahearthumanesociety.org.
S.T.O.P. (Save Tehachapi's Orphaned Pets)
Abandoned pets can find a second chance at love and happiness through Save Tehachapi’s Orphaned Pets. Each pet that comes through the organization is placed in a caring foster home until the right owner for them is found. For more information, call 661-823-4100 or visit http://www.stoprescue.org/index.html.