Kernville - 4th of July 2015

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by evdog, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    @AKAlan 's Kern plateau planning thread had me looking for trip reports from the three Kernville trips I did in 2015, but I can only find one here. I usually write them on another local forum and then copy them over here. Must have forgotten. So here it is:


    Brian/406 and I headed up to Kernville for 4th of July. This is the first 4th I've done a road trip on in years due to the traffic, heat and fully booked campgrounds that plague summer holiday long weekends. We couldn't leave Thursday after work so we planned to leave 530am Friday instead to beat the traffic. High elevations and tons of open camping would eliminate the other two issues. We headed north on 395 and then up 9-mile Canyon just past Kennedy Meadows to Kern Plateau. I did a couple days riding up here in 2012 and have been wanting to come back since and do some more exploring.

    For our first ride we started at Fish Creek campground (which, by the way, was surprisingly almost empty)
    We headed up Beach Ridge Trail. It was a bit sandy but not the brutal sand slog I was expecting, so I was glad I hadn't suggested taking the road

    It was mostly uphill, pretty much all rideable, and there were some fast flowy parts too

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    After a 7-800 ft descent down to Beach Meadows we hopped onto the Beach Meadow Trail.

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    It was nice in a few spots but was mostly hike a bike until we got to Rd 20S26 up top.

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    Seems we should have taken the alternate route up of Little Horse Meadow Tr.

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    We had just a little more HAB and climbing to get to the high point of the day on Blackrock Mtn Trail
    Almost all of the trails on Kern plateau are moto trails, so you will run into some of them. I was expecting to run into tons of them, but we only met 5-6 groups all day.

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    Blackrock Mtn was pretty fun riding W to E

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    I was hoping we could get in a side lap on Jackass Peak to Granite-Broder Trail but the moto whoops were really starting to wear us down and our slowed pace meant we would not have time for any extra credit. So we skipped that loop and headed down Jackass Creek Tr to the truck. Even with that, it was not certain we would finish before dark.

    I was pretty happy with the days ride. It turned out longer than I expected at 35mi. I think it is a pretty good loop though I would definitely want to look into incorporating Little Horse Meadow or Rd 21S20 rather than climb Beach Meadow Tr (it would be a great descent though). You could easily make the upper and lower sections of what we did into their own rides:

    1) Up Beach Ridge to Albinita to Jackass Creek Tr
    2) Albinita to Jackass Peak to Granite-Broder to BlackRock Mtn to Beach Meadow/Little Horse (either direction would be equally awesome and painful)
     
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  2. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Since we had missed out on Jackass Peak on Day 1, we opted to start with that loop on day 2.
    What seemed like a really tough climb on Day 1 to Jackass Creek turnoff (50% HAB) we were able to ride all of on fresh legs on day 2.

    Jackass Peak trail delivered with a mix of whoops and technical rock that is a blast to descent

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    Jackass Peak behind us

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    We eventually get spit out into Monache Meadow

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    Sketchy crossing with broken chicken wire

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    Great view of Olancha Peak

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    We traversed the meadow before enduring some tough climbing back up and around Granite Knob in the top left prominence in the pic

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    After lunch we headed over toward Big Meadow on Cannell Trail. Nice view into Domeland Wilderness from Sherman Pass Rd

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    From the north end of Big Meadow we parked near some campers in the shade and then headed up Cannell

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    We didn't have to go far for our first turnoff onto Siretta Peak Trail where we would get our HAB on

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    In the course of 1500ft climbing things went from nice and sunny to overcast with rain squalls. Then the lightning started

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    We waited for 20min to see if it would blow over, but the storm seemed to settle in between us and Sherman Pass

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    As much as we both wanted to drop in to the other side down Siretta Peak Tr we weren't prepared to deal with rain, and we probably would have finished in the dark anyways. Though we did have lights...

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    Continued lightning and dark skies meant we made the right decision to turn around

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    Big meadow comes back into view

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    1500 of fun descent was nothing to complain about

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    It seemed far too short for the effort we put in getting up top. Rather than go back to the truck we opted to head further north on Cannell and check out Deadwood Trail. This involved a rather painful climb up 700ft of the most chundery, sucky part of Cannell.

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    Deadwood was looking really primitive with no obvious recent traffic. 100 yards down and it was almost non-existent. We kept going and soon enough it became more obvious where it started to descend in earnest.

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    It turned out to be a really fun trail. We bailed onto Cherry Hill Rd rather than descend Deadwood all the way to Horse Meadown and have to climb 500 ft out. This gave us a bit extra time that I was able to drive Brian over so he could drop the plunge and get Cannell fully out of his system.

    Oh yeah, saw this guy as we rode back to the truck, maybe 1/4mi from where a bunch of people were camped

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    I beat him (Brian, not the bear) down the hill to Kernville by about 10min, just at dusk, so timing was pretty much perfect.
     
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  3. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Since our last trip I had a hankering to ride the trails from Portuguese Pass back to Greenhorn summit. I had ridden bits and pieces of them but never connected it all in one go.

    After a quick swim and hitting up the brewery Saturday night we headed up near Greenhorn Summit to camp.

    Knowing we were a bit lower and that it would be warmer we tried to get going earlier but couldn't seem to break the 830am barrier.

    No matter, we only had a ~5mi road climb to Portuguese Pass and we were soon on singletrack

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    I opted to take us first on the trail north off the pass for a couple miles, the same route we have taken before when riding Tobias which has some fun riding.

    Pretty soon we came to this sign, with the trail we normally take blocked with debris and this sign closing the trail to motos. I guess since you cross onto the National Monument here motos are not allowed. We carried the bikes over 50ft of branch-covered trail and continued on

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    Fern forest

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    Curiosity took over and we kept going on the trail toward Bull Run Peak, past where we normally split off down to the road.

    That is exactly where the trail went and after some tough hike a bike we were at the top with a *great* view of dust haze in the Central valley below

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    The trail continued down the north side of the peak and dumped us onto an old logging road. While steep this would definitely be the way to approach this peak again, much easier and less elevation gain.

    Nice view of Tobias Peak

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    More nice views on the pedal back to Portuguese Pass

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    The singletrack back south from the pass was pretty fun. There were some short HABs but mostly it was rideable

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    We were both pretty much done by that point and itching for a swim in the river before heading home.

    It was a great weekend in the end. We saw no one on the trails the second and third days, and just a few people on the roads. Campsites up high were pretty much deserted except for a few spots.

    Seems like all of Bakersfield was camped right along the Kern though, in massive group camps packed in disgustingly tight. A friend of mine once compared these to refugee camps he saw in Africa. Not that I have been to Africa but from what I saw especially driving down from Cannell the place was an absolute mad house, I have been to Kernville on long weekends before but never seen it so packed. I am pretty happy we were up out of the heat and away from the crowds.

    Hopefully I'll make it back up one more time before fall to do a bit more exploring. Good times! :D
     
  4. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    I was just thinking about that trip the other day.
     
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  5. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Better late than never!!! Quite the write up!!!
     
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  6. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    I wanna do these rides!
     
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