Thursday, September 25, 2014

Top 5 Mountain Bike Rides in Kernville / Southern Sierras

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. Portuguese Pass Trail / Tobias Trail - Rapidly gaining in popularity,  these trails provide more great Southern Sierra riding. A local favorite xc ride is to loop Portuguese Trail by riding up the forest road from Greenhorn Summit to Portuguese Pass (or beyond), then back down the trail.  For an epic shuttle ride, traverse the cedar and black oak forest of the Greenhorn Mountains, before the mega descent along Tobias Creek to the Kern River!  [UPDATE! Part of this area burned, check for trail conditions and updates first] 
Portuguese Pass Trail
Honorable Mentions:
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 would easily be in the upper Top 5.
The River Trail

Honorable Mention 2:  
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

Ok Just One More: 

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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