California State Parks is taking reservations for the fall tour season at Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park in Tehachapi.
Visitation is only permitted on a guided tour, which involves a moderately strenuous three-hour hike.
Although no structures remain on this Kawaiisu (Nüwa) Native American village site, the area’s rich history comes alive through the trained volunteer tour guides and the clues that the inhabitants left behind.
“Tomo Kahni” means “winter home” in Kawaiisu, and rock rings mark the locations of many of the kahni, or homes, that were built of juniper boughs. Hundreds of mortar holes in the park tell of a very active past.
The Kawaiisu were of Shoshonean lineage who spoke the Southern Numic subgroup of the Uto-Aztecan language, according to the Tehachapi Museum website.
Migrating from the Great Basin, they had made the Tehachapi area their home for two to three thousand years. They were a peaceful, gentle people with great respect for their surroundings, living and working in small family units.
The Saturday tours also include Medicine Cave, Nettle Springs and a cave with pictographs — a sacred place of the Kawaiisu.
Tours will be offered Saturdays through November 9. Activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. with an orientation at the Tehachapi Museum in Tehachapi and last approximately four hours, including travel time to and from the park (transportation is not provided).
Please note: Those with heart conditions or breathing problems should NOT take this tour. Weather at the high-elevation park is variable, so layered clothing is recommended.
Ample drinking water, sun protection and sturdy walking shoes are also necessary.
Tour fee is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-16 (age 5 and under are free, but not recommended on tours).
Tours are limited to 12 people and fill up fast so reservations are highly recommended, for an additional fee of $10 per party.
To make a reservation or for more information, call 661-946-6092 or email Mojave.Sector@parks.ca.gov.
The Tehachapi Museum is located at 310 S. Green Street, Tehachapi 93561.