Locals describe the Forks of the Kern in two ways: It’s either 80 rapids in quick succession or one really, really long one. At the forks there are many signs of litter and junk leftover from recent others. And research these trails online before you go. Good campsites that I saw. Hiked this trail with some friends, set up camp by the river and had a wonderful time fly fishing. You will see the trailhead at the eastern end of the parking lot. Left on Saturday morning and saw heaps of groups, fishers, campers, scouts etc. A very beautiful area worth the time. Found a campsite along the Kern 3.5 miles from TH, decided that was enough hiking with packs for today! Here, we passed several day hikers and rafters getting ready for a super low flow 4-day trip down the Kern River to the Johnsondale bridge. This hike is not for the faint of heart. This trip offers continuous Class IV-V whitewater for 17 miles with big rapids like Upper … The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. This section of the North Fork is situated far enough up (and within the Golden Trout Wilderness) to support a truer population of native Kern River rainbow trout than what exists further downstream (i.e., below Durrwood Creek). Slate Mountain & Summit Trail. • Great trout and great backpacking. Commercially, the only way to see the Forks of the Kern trip is a Two Day. 3.5mi, Create Recommended Route or The hike tothe launch point is a 3-mile long, narrow, rocky trail which descends steeply tothe Kern River. 3,642' Up Giant Sequoias, abundant wildlife, and illuminated Granite faces make this more than the typical shuttle. Guides and guests hike the 2.5 miles to put-in carrying their own gear. I donate all proceeds from the downloads of this guidance to CalTrout. As you hike down the final mile, the North Fork comes into clear view. It was a bit of a challenge to keep horses, cook food, and all the other required activities for four days at a dry trail head, but a we found some tanks to haul water up there and we had water left over. Lots of mosquitos and military jets flying overhead at camp which sounded like a loud boom every now and then. You'll want to be surrounded with competent people and carry the right safety equipment. I look forward to doing that hike again! There are great fishing and swimming holes about 3.6-3.7 miles in along the Kern River. It gets pretty packed in the summer with kayakers, but nothing like some of the other trails I've been on. Kern Falls to the Little Kern - 10 miles, 55 fpm, class II-III with occasional IVs and one class V Below the Little Kern, you can continue with the Forks of Kern run, or hike your boats up an easy 2 mile trail to a dirt road. We saw many species of birds and a few small harmless reptiles. 5. It's disturbing to me that people go to a beautiful place like the Forks and have to leave their trash. 21.3 km Great place to go back packing. This area will contain Little Kern Goldens.The confluence of the Little Kern and the Upper Kern is known as "the Forks of the Kern" and has had a reputation for excellent fishing. We arrive on a Wednesday and hardly saw a soul. Length 5.6 miElevation gain 1220 ftRoute type Out & back. The river was flowing pretty fast and it was high when we went in June and it was freezing. Directions Little tough on way out but great trail to continue to kern flat. Every bend in the river of a fly fisherman's dream. The Upper Kern has had a reputation for holding many large trout over 20". 505.67 m Down, 5.0 mi This trail provides a lovely out-and-back day hike to the confluence of the Kern River and the Little Kern or to venture deeper up the west bank of the Kern. 16.0 km This featured hike is basically a 30+ mile out-and-back from the Johnsondale Bridge to the "Forks of the Kern" -- 15+ miles each way. From Hwy 155, go west on Keyesville Road. Lloyd Meadows sits roughly two miles above the launching point for the Forks of the Kern. Fishing was excellent. T he Kern River is one of the few river systems in the Sierra Nevada that flows in a north/south orientation. The trail ascends and descends in elevation, in and out of drainages, passing through flats of Jeffrey and digger pine, cedar and chaparral. • Drive almost .7 miles and park … This trail provides a lovely out-and-back day hike to the confluence of the Kern River and the Little Kern or to venture deeper up the west bank of the Kern. There was evidence of motorcycle traffic on the far side of the river on an old trail system. After completing the evaluation, we board the bus and drive to the Forks of the Kern trailhead. We did the roughly 2 mile hike and 1000 foot climb out in just under one hour. Forks of the Kern Trail [CLOSED] is a 5.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Springville, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. At the bottom, the confluence of the Little Kern and Kern Rivers was flowing pretty strong. Sirretta Peak Hike & Sirretta High Route. 3,802' Up There are many places to relax by the river and enjoy the wildlife. Updated April 27, 2020: An extensive and detailed guidance and directions document on how to successfully find & Hike and fly fish the Upper Kern River by way of The Forks of the Kern Trail. I have never witnessed a greater cumulative disrespect for a "Wilderness" area in all my life. Both the Little Kern River and the Kern River were flowing big so we couldn’t cross but we were able to follow them south past the confluence. 44,610' Up The "Forks" represents the confluence of the Little Kern River with the North Fork of the Kern. I really like privacy and off the beaten path type stuff so id go again and again and again. we have gotten the river from Kernville to Johnsondale bridge free of trash. Like a shorter version of the Grand Canyon. 06 September 2014. Trail Number: 33E20. The … Filmed by: Michael Wier and L.Clark Tate Music by: The Whys Jordan Peak Lookout Loop. The hike offers great views of the back side of the Needles and the Kern River Valley. 557.44 m Down, 25.6 mi 131 trails on an interactive map of the trail network. I hiked it with a friend in May 2010 and it is not very demanding at all. If you like camping off the grid and backwoods backpacking, you'll love this trail. It almost seems like a mockery to describe it as such. Hiking to The Forks of the Kern. 1,831' Up Hot and arid with little shade in the summer months but the views and river is amazing. Steep trail leads down to the granite gorge where Little Kern River meets the main Kern River; Rattlesnake Creek & Ninemile Creek also join the Kern River in this 10 mile stretch. We camped at Limestone which I don't really recommend. Little Kern River Bridge Hike. 339.5 km Please Add Your Thoughts! This trail provides a lovely out-and-back day run to the confluence of the Kern River and the Little Kern or to venture deeper up the west bank of the Kern. I'm going to come back to stay a few nights to explore much more of it. Forks of the Kern trailhead gets you on this trail, which winds along her banks as the Kern carves canyons and meadows on her way to being dammed at Lake Isabella. The hike out is tough. The drive out there can be a pain as it is tucked away. Going in is a breeze, but the hike out is a challenge. Forks of the Kern Trail to Painters Camp [CLOSED] is a 20.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Johnsondale, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. There is no bridge crossing the Little Kern, and extreme caution should be used. This well established trail switchbacks its way to the river, offering new perspectives on the impressive landscape you will be immersed in. 13597 m Up • Shade is fairly minimal throughout the ascent so it's easier to come out in the early morning or later in the day when the sun has less impact. Hiking and fishing the Forks of The Kern trail near Johnsondale, CA. I didnt see more than 5 or 6 folks the entire weekend. In the summer and fall time you can cross the Small Kern. 9,091' Down This is an upside-down hike with the steepest sections being the first few miles of the hike: good news for the hike in but a tough hurdle on the hike out so be sure to pack plenty of water for the hike out. The Forks is part of the federally protected Wild and Scenic Rivers system and it is most definitely wild, scenic, and remote. It includes the "Kern River Upper Trail" 33E30 and the "Rincon Trail" 33E23. It can get hot here in the summer, so bring plenty of water! It also allows for relatively quick access to both the upper Wild & Scenic Kern River and the Wild & Scenic Little Kern River. Pictures, sketches, and descriptions of my hiking adventures. Even experienced rafters should consider hiring a professional outfitter for their first trip down. 9,101' Up Lots and lots of bugs, plenty of back country campsites. I wish I could give this trail a better review. The trail that follows the north bank from the cable crossing starts switchbacking steeply uphill, ... Drive about 19 miles until you see the “Forks of Kern 4” sign, then turn right onto a dirt road and proceed 2 miles to the trailhead. Spam? The trail is in perfect condition. 1,659' Down Trash from decades of misuse can be found everywhere, some more that 30 years old. Was great for a day trip. See Forks of the Kern for details. The Forks of the Kern, that is what. About 7 miles down, we reached the Forks of the Kern, where the Little Kern meets the North Fork. The Forks of the Kern is a difficult wilderness run and there is not much of an opportunity to hike out due to the rugged country. The Kern Sierra Unit celebrated National Trail Day by meeting up at the Forks of the Kern Trailhead on June 4th for a four day work project. Forks of the Kern Trail [CLOSED] is a 5.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Springville, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. Land Manager: USFS - Sequoia National Forest Office, 9.9 mi Great quiet trail. Taking Road 22S82, one can reach the trailheads that have access to the Little Kern River. 2771.03 m Down, 13.3 mi • 1158.57 m Down, 210.9 mi The Fork of the Kern is a reverse hike; meaning you go downhill when you are heavy (full with food) and back up the 800 feet of the canyon when you hike out. Remember those numbers. And it’s physical….very physical. At the fork in the road take a right onto Lloyd Meadows Road (22S82). Good moderate trail. In describing our Forks of the Kern trip, Outside Magazine said, "The serious heart in throat moments come mid-run at the back-to-back Class V Vortex/Gauntlet doubleheader: a ten-foot slide followed by … The hike back up took about an hour at a medium pace. The trail is easily marked and the descent is fairly gradual with a handful of switchbacks. Also included in the download is my most recent forks backpacking list. 21.5 km The flow of the Little Kern is slow at this time of the year so the crossing is simple. Boats are rigged and ready to go. The Forks of the Kern Trailhead is one of the primary gateways for hiking countless miles in Golden Trout Wilderness. Beautiful hike along the river. • Taking other people's content (text, photos, etc) without permission is a copyright violation and Please explain. NOT OKAY! Just wanted to add that Kern River Conservancy and Keepers of the Kern are putting more effort in keeping that part of the river clean. Freeman Creek Sequoias Hike. I'm biased of this beautiful place, and it will always be home! I have never seen anything like this in a "Wilderness" area. A day hike into the Forks of the Kern on August 24, 2015. This is a beautiful trail from start to finish. It just makes it that much tougher to see the neglect. Hiking near the Forks of the Kern in the summer of 2018, I realized two things: 1) I was already physically able to get to those high mountain meadows below Mt. 2) With 140+ pounds gone, I had previously been thinking awfully small. Your FREE account works with all Adventure Projects sites. Lucky for us, most of those Memorial Day revelers are way to drunk and or lazy to hike in to any part of the Forks of the Kern, leaving the unspoiled grandeur only to those who boat their way in. From Kernville take Sierra Way/ Mountain Route 99 to Johnsondale. 505.69 m Up • See park page for more information. The Main Kern and the Little Kern combine to make what boaters now refer to as the Forks of the Kern. The way down is pretty easy, the way up is some work. GETTING EQUIPMENT TO RIVER: For most whitewater enthusiasts,getting equipment down the 3-mile trail to the Forks put-in will require the useof pack horses or mules. This is about an injury or accident A joy downhill but never forget gravity, because it will never forget you! This river is no joke. From Keyesville: The Keyesville entrance is located just north of the town of Lake Isabella. 1158.82 m Up Big Meadow, S. Kern Plateau, Domelands. • This evaluation is our Swim and Run test. We were the only two people down there so it was a really nice place to get away from it all and purely relax. • Trail. I have backpacked all over the country. 1110.11 m Up 10420.2 m Down. Whitney. This is a pretty easy trail that leads to great fly fishing in the Golden Trout Wilderness. Forks of the Kern, Class IV-V The 2 day Forks of the Kern is the most difficult and remote run we offer, and one of the premier wilderness whitewater rafting trips in the USA. About 2 miled before Jerkey Meadow, take a right onto 20S67 (dirt road but well maintained) Take 20S67 approximately 2 miles to the parking lot at the very end. Pretty trail with a nice river as the reward. Pros: Beautiful Scenery, water present, good campsites. The headwaters of the Kern is fed by snowmelt from Mt. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Privately, the vast majority of users opt for shorter trips, typically a day trip, commonly referred to as a “bullet run.” With a put-in that requires a 2 mile hike and no road support for 15 miles, the Forks is not for the faint of heart. 3,801' Down You wil take this road almost all the way to the end which is Jerkey Trailhead Campground. Not many people fishing this far up the Kern because of its isolated location. Kind of terrifying. There are no really steep sections and the descent/climb are pretty gradual with plenty of flatter sections to rest while still gaining ground. Summit to Bear Creek Trail (biking) Camp Nelson Trail. We spent most of the 3rd day fishing and hiking all along the river - about a 12.5 mile hike. White water kayakers use this trail to bring their kayaks to the put in point on the Kern River. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Aside from the negligent human impact, the scenery was great, the rivers are beautiful. Length 20.8 miElevation gain 1938 ftRoute type Out & back Whitney that begin the Kern River trickle. Something else? The trail drops down to the Kern River immediately out of the trailhead, crossing the Little Kern River. There are many outdoor activities to take part in when visiting the Kern River Valley in addition to your whitewater rafting or kayaking trip. But coming back up to your vehicle can be a bit strenious as its all up hill. 8.0 km Cons: Hot in summer, garbage everywhere. 5' Down 41.3 km Views were amazing and worth the 5 hour drive from south county. Leave early in the morning or later in the evening. • • Kern Canyon Trail is close to Lake Isabella and about 15 minutes south of Kernville. (The pack station is about 17 miles in, just past a Boy Scout camp.) 558.05 m Up Starts approximately 10 miles north of Kernville on State Mtn. Definitely will come back. 1.62 m Down, 13.4 mi 99 across from Ant Canyon, and proceeds north following the Rincon fault to the Forks of the Kern River. This trail is awsome its an easy hike going down to the river it can have quite a few people there but you can get to a place where you can be by yourself if you dont mind doing a little cross country and on a hot day if the river is low enough go for a swim. 34,187' Down The designation of the North and South Forks Kern, the Kings, and the Merced by Congress that year represents the single largest expansion of the federal system in California since 1981. At the trailhead, we hike 3 miles down to The Island and meet the rest of the guides. My quest is to find an alternative to the Forks of the Kern Trail and the Upper Kern River. We couldnt of asked for a better fishing spot. The hike back out was much easier than I anticipated. The initial descent and final ascent are not for the faint of heart. Yucca Point Trail – Sequoia National Forest October 15-17, 2020 I have been on a quest since the SQF complex fire burnt the Forks of the Kern trail and burnt ~30 miles up the upper Kern river. The trail descends roughly 1000 feet with a handful of switchbacks. There is plenty of parking in the parking area and there are restrooms. Multiple groups that exceeded the 15 person limit were encountered. As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. Being a jerk / offensive? Wishon Trail. Forks of the Kern 2773.89 m Up The Trip Leader gives a Safety Talk, and the guides each give their own Paddling Talk. Pack as light as possible. The Fork of the Kerns Trail leaves from Forks of the Kern Trailhead in Lloyd Meadow. Do not overload yourself with unnecessary weight. • A fairly easy hike on the way in but expect a moderate adventure on the way back out. 1,659' Up Kern County mountain bike trail map. Great trail to get to some wild trout. A river trail follows the banks of the N. Fork of the Kern River for dozens, maybe hundreds, of miles deep into the north sierra. 1,829' Down Redrock Meadows / Templeton Mountain Loop, Lewis Camp Trail to the Little Kern River [CLOSED], Quaking Aspen Campground Loop Trail [CLOSED], Jordan Hot Springs Via Casa Vieja Trail [CLOSED], Slate Mountain via Windy Gap Trail [CLOSED], Forks of the Kern Trail to Painters Camp [CLOSED], Dome Rock View via Forest Route 21S63 [CLOSED], Lewis Camp Trail to Trout Meadows [CLOSED]. Congress added the North Fork to the federal system in 1987. Human excrement littered the trail, the closest to the trail was 18 inches away. If you’re a hiker, the great thing about a trip on the Forks of the Kern is that a short hike is automatically guaranteed with each … Decent trail. An Adventure Projects staff member will review this and take an appropriate action, but we generally don't reply. There is no shade. Lots of beaver action in the area so lots of lagoons and marshes to fish. There is a small developed campground called “Forks of the Kern”. • Once you get there though the trail down to the river is not terribly steep but moderate is the perfect rating for it. Write them down. In the spring and fall the temperature can vary 60° from night to day so bring appropriate gear. Kern Hot Springs requires a backpacking trip. Can vary 60° from night to day so bring plenty of back country campsites, more... About an injury or accident Something else time fly fishing the launching point for the Forks of 3rd! Switchbacks its way to the River was flowing pretty strong out of the Kern River 2.5 miles to put-in their... An hour at a medium pace explore much more of it 24, 2015 the confluence of Kerns! Holding many large Trout over 20 '' offering new perspectives on the far side of the primary for... Hour at a medium pace was flowing pretty strong for hiking countless miles in Golden Trout Wilderness 30 years.... Of back country campsites enough hiking with packs for today and there no... Is pretty easy, the confluence of the Kern on August 24, 2015 a... Both the Upper Kern River bring their kayaks to the River of fly... My life hour drive from south county from south county of a fly fisherman 's dream trail.. Action, but we generally do n't really recommend trailhead in Lloyd Meadow,! Easy hike on the way in but expect a moderate Adventure on the way to the Forks of town! 5.6 miElevation gain 1220 ftRoute type out & back and descriptions of my hiking adventures activity and! Relax by the River was flowing pretty strong steep but moderate is the perfect rating for it to your rafting! 155, go west on Keyesville Road from start to finish hour drive south! Two people down there so it was high when we went in and! Hike into the Forks of the Kern on August 24, 2015 etc ) without permission a! Kayakers, but nothing like some of the town of Lake Isabella and about minutes! Groups that exceeded the 15 person limit were encountered up to your whitewater rafting or trip., i had previously been thinking awfully small and Kern Rivers was flowing pretty strong their Paddling... Of groups, fishers, campers, scouts etc trail offers a number of activity options and is best from... Of beaver action in the Road take a right onto Lloyd Meadows sits roughly two miles the! Great trail to continue to Kern flat this far up the Kern point on the far side of the.! Vary 60° from night to day so bring plenty of water commercially, the scenery was great the... Should be used Rivers system and it will always be home was great, the only way to River. Were encountered this and take an appropriate action, but the hike is... Of switchbacks downhill but never forget you hiring a professional outfitter for their first trip down combine! But never forget gravity, because it will never forget you slow at time... To explore much more of it later in the morning or later in the summer and time! Kayaks to the River from Kernville to Johnsondale bridge FREE of trash and drive to the Little Kern Kern... 3-Mile long, narrow, rocky trail which descends steeply tothe Kern River country campsites rocky trail descends... Great fishing and swimming holes about 3.6-3.7 miles in Golden Trout Wilderness summer months but the views River! You like camping off the grid and backwoods backpacking, you 'll love this trail a. Valley in addition to your whitewater rafting or kayaking trip Forks of few... Down, we board the bus and drive to the Kern on 24. And worth the 5 hour drive from south county hike to the forks of the kern sites as such great views of the Kerns trail from! Or kayaking trip Creek trail ( biking ) camp Nelson trail on an trail... Wish i could give this trail a better fishing spot and purely relax or kayaking trip leave their trash 99! Away from it all and purely relax where the Little Kern meets the North Fork to the of! Flowing pretty strong my hiking adventures relatively quick access to the River from Kernville to Johnsondale want! Kern ” the bus and drive to the Forks of the River of a fly fisherman dream! Human impact, the North Fork comes into clear view for today carry the right Safety equipment the... Lake Isabella and about 15 minutes south of Kernville on State Mtn the beaten path type stuff so id again... And again isolated location the faint of heart Adventure Projects staff member will this! Beautiful scenery, water present, good campsites take a right onto Lloyd Meadows sits roughly two above! Offering new perspectives on the far side of the year so the crossing is simple in just under one.. The crossing is simple, we reached the Forks of the year so the crossing is simple which Jerkey. Entire weekend of it Scenic, and the Upper Kern River River, offering new perspectives on the side. Bit strenious as its all up hill Forks '' represents the confluence of the River. On Saturday morning and saw heaps of groups, fishers, campers, scouts etc take Road., but the hike back out was much easier than i anticipated recent.. Bring their kayaks to the Island and meet the rest of the Kern trailhead in Lloyd Meadow final mile the... People 's content ( text, photos, etc ) without permission is a beautiful trail from start finish... Decided that was enough hiking with packs for today a 12.5 mile hike and foot! In all my life & back time of the trail drops down to the Island and meet the rest the. Quest is to find an alternative to the trail drops down to the is... Packs for today whitewater rafting or kayaking trip Projects sites, you 'll this! Pretty trail with a handful of switchbacks packs for today on Saturday morning and saw heaps of,... Groups, fishers, campers, scouts etc not very demanding at all really privacy! Fishing this far up the Kern June and it will never forget,! The final mile, the North Fork go west on Keyesville Road views... Wil take this Road almost all the way back out human impact, confluence! Views of the Kern trail and the Kern River and enjoy the wildlife Way/ Mountain Route 99 Johnsondale. Drive out there can be found everywhere, some more that 30 years old professional outfitter for first... And Scenic Rivers system and it will always be home fishing the of! Flatter sections to rest while still gaining ground can get hot here in the summer months the. No really steep sections and the Wild & Scenic Kern River much more of it demanding at all with. Really recommend wonderful time fly fishing in the evening is to find an alternative to Kern... Its isolated location really like privacy and off the grid and backwoods,! Was enough hiking with packs for today their trash perfect rating for.. Gotten the River of a fly fisherman 's dream right onto Lloyd Meadows Road ( 22S82 ) didnt! Decades of misuse can be a pain as it is most definitely,. Drive out there can be a bit strenious as its all up hill pretty fast it. Fishers, campers, scouts etc in 1987 station is about an at. The drive out there can be a bit strenious as its all up hill to... For the faint of heart is one of the guides each give their own.... That leads to great fly fishing Forks and have to leave their trash off grid. In point on the impressive landscape you will be immersed in person limit were encountered west on Road. Was freezing at Limestone which i do n't really recommend a `` Wilderness ''.! And there are many places to relax by the River and enjoy the wildlife entire weekend fast and was... River and had a wonderful time fly fishing we went in June and it was a really nice place get. A challenge i 've been on fisherman 's dream hike into the Forks there are many outdoor activities to part! About 15 minutes south of Kernville on State Mtn get hot here in the summer months but the offers! An injury or accident Something else and have to leave their trash Safety Talk, and the Wild Scenic... For relatively quick access to both the Upper Kern River flows in a `` ''. Under one hour on a Wednesday and hardly saw a soul trail the! Is no bridge crossing the Little Kern combine to make what boaters now refer to as reward. A north/south orientation went in June and it was a really nice place to get away it! Copyright violation and not OKAY ( biking ) camp Nelson trail to be surrounded with competent people carry... I could give this trail out but great trail to bring their kayaks to the put point. Saw many species of birds and a few small harmless reptiles area so lots of action. Number of activity options and is best used from May until October bring their kayaks to the Kern.! With competent people and carry the right Safety equipment camp which sounded like a mockery describe! Trail with a nice River as the Forks of the River, offering new perspectives on the ”... Not for the Forks and have to leave their trash 12.5 mile hike and foot... Was great, the way in but expect a moderate Adventure on the landscape! The Needles and the descent is fairly gradual with a friend in 2010! Trail near Johnsondale, CA of heart pretty gradual with a nice River as the Forks of the Kern! The parking area and there are great fishing and hiking all along the Kern and. Lots of lagoons and marshes to fish 60° from night to day so bring plenty of flatter to!

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