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:

1. Cannell Trail - An IMBA EPIC with high alpine singletrack weaving up to almost 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. 
Enroute to the Cannell Plunge.

 Just Outstanding - 5 miles of pure forested flowing bliss lead to several ride options. Riding to the raw and rowdy Dutch Flat Trail  down into Keyesville is a classic! Along the way, throw in Wagy Ridge to Rocky Gulch Trail  for a day you'll never forget.  Another favorite is to climb Wagy Road to Wagy Ridge Trail to AGTO ending near Boulder Gulch.
Feelin' the need for speed.
Just Outstanding Manzanita Tunnel.

3. Kern Canyon Trail - Amazing in the winter and spring, the 25 miles of singletrack make for 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 pedaling from the Freeway Ridge Trailhead by the corral.
Feeling the flow on this big cross country ride.

Early Spring is the best time to ride!

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 hikers on all these trails!
Amazing Giant Sequoia Grove on Bear Creek Trail.
Enduro style riding.

5. Pup Meadow / Portuguese Pass Trail & Northside Tobias Trail  - The Greenhorn Mountains have so many riding options. Unfortunately the Cedar Fire of 2016 torched the southern section of Portuguese Pass Trail; but it is starting to recover!  One very popular cross country ride is to loop Portuguese Pass Trail by riding up the forest road from Greenhorn Summit to Portuguese Pass and beyond, then back down the trail.  

Further north, the excellent 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.  Tobias is still a very remote "adventure ride" and can be quite bushy and rutted in places. Click the links above for updates and ride ideas!

Portuguese Pass Trail
Pup Meadow 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!  Remington Ridge starts with a climb and then has an exciting descent, while the Mill Creek Trail is almost continuously all smooth downhill.

Upper Mill Creek Trail
Remington Ridge 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.   
Machine-built singletrack.
The George Bush Tree on Freeman Creek Trail

Unal Trail -  Short but so very sweet!  Most locals will bike a double loop, or combine Unal Trail with Just Outstanding  or Portuguese Pass Trails for extra riding.  Pedal counterclockwise for the most flowy and airborne descent! 
Unal Trailhead at Greenhorn Summit

Keyesville Classic - One of the most famous trails in the Kern River Valley just got much better!  This cross-country race course now has many more miles of great singletrack and fun re-routes to be enjoyed. Ride this all Winter and Spring!
Keyesville Classic.

Cedar Canyon 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, often bushy, gnarly, 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 expert rides anywhere.  Check for trail updates before riding!

Cedar Canyon Trail

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