Kern Plateau trip planning (x-post to bikepacking.net)

Discussion in 'Bikepacking' started by AKAlan, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. AKAlan

    AKAlan Member

    Location:
    Van Nuys
    Name:
    AKA:Alan
    I posted this over on bikepacking.net, if anyone has advice on here please share it, thanks!

    Hi guys, I've been planning on riding this area in a couple of weeks and I'm hoping for some feedback. My original plan was to do a big loop starting from Kernville-

    https://caltopo.com/m/TBPC

    I recently found out that the area around Portuguese Pass is closed including all roads north of Alta Sierra. According to the ranger station, the main road might open up next week. I've also realized that riding out of Kernville in 90-100 degree heat might not be the way I want to start my ride. I've since been focusing on starting from Kennedy Meadows and riding the plateau, here's the trails I've mapped out as options-

    https://caltopo.com/m/MKTP

    I'll have the Kern River Sierra map in the next couple of days and I have the trail descriptions the NF Kern Ranger District published. I'm planning on doing a clockwise loop starting with going down Mahogany-Cannell to Big Meadow, then up to Sherman Pass/Peak and north to Blackrock, etc. finishing with Jackass Creek; I'll have 4 days for this. There's quite a few options in the northern part of the loop, are there any recommendations? I'm a bit concerned about water, should I plan on hauling an extra 100 oz. or are there enough small streams along the way to get by with one water bladder? Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    Portuguese Pass is open, I rode it yesterday. They are also closing parts of the road to Sherman Pass.
     
  3. AKAlan

    AKAlan Member

    Location:
    Van Nuys
    Name:
    AKA:Alan
    I think I'm okay for Sherman Pass, it looks like they aren't closing it until Sept. 10. I'm now considering having my start/end point at Sherman Pass, that way I'd be able to resupply on the 3rd day.
     
    mountaingirl sara, Danmtchl and Mikie like this.
  4. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Wow, sounds like a fantastic adventure!

    What's one day of food when you've already got three on board? You never know when a water stop will be dried up or otherwise bunk. Maybe talk with the ranger to see what the seasonal/current norms are for ground water. Do some early/late/night riding if it's too hot.

    It sounds like you have a handle on it. I say leave some unknowns and go do it. Right on!
     
  5. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    I ride Moto up there. There are creeks and usually have water all year. Seen some real dry summers though.
     
    Danmtchl, kioti, AKAlan and 1 other person like this.
  6. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    I did an overnighting backpacking trip a couple of weeks ago. Out of Black Rock TH, that’s the Golden Trout Willderness. Very close to the area you’re describing. Water was everywhere. You shoul be ok other than the peaks and high points.
     
  7. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Funny, I just replied on BP.net then saw this as I was looking for some old trip reports. I did 3 trips to the area one year but only posted one TR here. I'll copy and paste the other two over, they're on a private forum.

    Memorial Day - https://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/kernville-memorial-day-2015.2582/ - standard Cannell ride, Cedar Canyon, Portuguese Pass to Tobias
    4th of July - https://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/kernville-4th-of-july-2015.7683/ - loops up top Kern Plateau, Siretta Pass and Portuguese Pass
    Labor Day - https://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/kernville-labor-day-2015.7684/ - loops up top, Siretta to Cannell loop, Camp Nelson

    As mentioned I think going up and over Siretta N to S could be cool. Same with doing some exploring south of Big Meadow and north around Monache Meadow.
     
    mike likes this.
  8. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    I think your starting in Kennedy meadow idea is best. I was surprised how fun the trails on the plateau are and how little mtb traffic they get.

    No idea how the trails are this time of year, but figure they are sandy based on 4th of July 2015, so run the widest tire you like.

    Would add some time, but I would loop Cannell & Sirretta and not do Cherry Hill road. Have only driven the road, but from what I recall it gets a lot of sun and few trees.

    Jackass Peak trail was fun down. So was Jackass Creak trail.