The home of the Kawaiisu Indians who once lived in the Tehachapi Mountains, Tomo-Kahni means “winter home.” The Kawaiisu were once noted for their skills in weaving baskets with a colorful and intricate design. The Tomo-Kahni State Park was created as a way to protect and preserve the integrity of the site.
Perched atop a ridge in the Tehachapi Mountains, it overlooks the Tehachapi Valley to the west and Sand Canyon to the east. It is probable that the location was chosen because it has plenty of resources and has a moderate temperature. The state park is only available to the public only by tour because of its extremely sensitive nature.
Volunteers of the state park lead these tours, and they usually take place on the weekends of the spring and fall months. Visitors go through orientation at the Tehachapi Museum. Participants then go to the park through the carpool. The walking tour starts at 8:00 AM and is considered moderate. It takes about three hours to complete, so make sure you bring enough water.
Tours are very popular, and they fill quickly, so make reservations. The tour ends at the Ceremonial Cave which is also called Teddy Bear Cave or Creation Cave. There are well-preserved pictographs in the caves, which is said to be guarded by a supernatural grizzly bear that defends it against intruders.
The hiking trails allow dogs so that pet parents can take their furbabies with them. Dog owners are reminded to bring a filled water jug to ensure that both you and your four-legged best friend are fully hydrated when you start exploring the Tomo-Kahni State Park.
Other activities which visitors can look forward to in the Tomo-Kahni State Park are nature and wildlife viewing, family programs, exhibits, guided tours, and visits to the cultural and historical site. Parking is available; however, it can get quite crowded during the weekends.