Thursday, September 25, 2014

Top 5 Mountain Bike Rides in Kernville / Southern Sierras

Here's just a sample of some of the great riding in the Kern River Sierra (in no particular order):

1. Cannell Trail - An IMBA EPIC with high alpine singletrack weaving up to 10,000 feet in elevation before plunging toward the Kern River at 2600 ft; this is a must-do ride!  Mountain River Adventures provides shuttles in Kernville. 
The Cannell Plunge

2. Just Outstanding - 5 miles of pure forested flowing bliss lead to several ride options. Riding to the rowdy Dutch Flat Trail and down into Keyesville is a classic! Throw in Wagy Ridge to Rocky Gulch Trail and that makes a big adventure.  Another favorite is to climb Wagy Road to Wagy Ridge Trail to AGTO ending near Boulder Gulch.
Just Outstanding Manzanita Tunnel

3. Kern Canyon Trail - Amazing in the Winter and  Spring, 25 miles of singletrack make an awesome cross country ride in the rolling hills above the lower Kern River.  Start in Keyesville for the big ride, or shorten the ride by pedalling from the Freeway Ridge Trailhead by the corral.
Kern Canyon Trail

4Camp Nelson Trail & Bear Creek Trails -  Don't miss these two gems in the Giant Sequoias!  Both technical and flowy, the shorter Camp Nelson Trail is completely awesome.  A 2,000 foot climb to Bear Creek Trail leads to one of the best downhills around. For a huge day to remember, shuttle both and/or add in Freeman Creek Trail (see below). Watch for hikes on all these trails!

5. Pup Meadow / Tobias Trail / Portuguese Pass Trail - Unfortunately the Cedar Fire of 2016 torched the southern section of Portuguese Pass Trail.  While bikers are riding it again, its not quite the same in the lower sections. A very popular ride was looping Portuguese Pass Trail by riding up the forest road from Greenhorn Summit to Portuguese Pass (or beyond), then back down the trail.  Fortunately, the Greenhorn Mountains have a lot of options.  The Pup Meadow Trail was recently reopened adding more forested singletrack above 7,000 feet!  A variety of loops are possible throughout the Greenhorns, as well as a long "Greenhorn Traverse" and other huge rides.  A new local favorite is to climb Pup Meadow Trail to Tobias Trail for a 5,000 foot wildly rugged descent down to the Kern River.  Its still a remote "adventure ride" and can be quite bushy. Click the links above for updates and ride ideas!

Portuguese Pass Trail
Other Awesome Trails:

Mill Creek & Remington Ridge Trails -  If you have a willing shuttle driver to do two laps,  riding both these trails will give you 9,000 feet of fast fun downhill!

Upper Mill Creek Trail

Cedar Canyon to River Trail - One of the most remote rides in the region, these trails (especially in the second half of the ride) are very  physically demanding, very technical, and super epic.  One group of  unprepared riders had to hike-a-bike several miles of trail and finished 13 hours later.  Having said that as a warning, it is a completely awesome backcountry adventure ride with superb mountain and river scenery. With some trail maintenance and maybe a couple re-routes, this ride could easily be one of the best rides anywhere.

The River Trail

Freeman Creek Trail - This smooth fast singletrack weaves its way down through some incredible Giant Sequoias near the Golden Trout Wilderness.  A superb out 'n' back ride can start off Lloyd Meadows Rd past Johnsondale or at the top near Quaking Aspen on the Western Divide Hwy.   
George Bush Tree on Freeman Creek Trail

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