Sequoia National Forest
Whiskey Flat Trail
The trail starts at the north end of Burlando Road in Kernville, paralleling Kern River, and ending at the Fairview foot bridge. Along the trail are gradual elevation changes (still paralleling the river) with numerous short steep stretches in and out of side drainages to the Kern River. Views during the summer months might include glimpses of whitewater enthusiasts roaring through the rapids. The area abounds with mixed chaparral brush species, with occasional digger pine and oak trees. There are lots of good fishing spots along this trail. Short day hikes are recommended during summer starting from either trailhead. Trail provides little shade and is considered easy to moderate in difficulty.
Cannell Trail (National Recreation Trail)
Trail begins at the horse corrals, 2 miles north of Kernville on State Mtn. 99. The trail starts out at a gradual climb, becoming steeper as you reach Pine Flat. The trail affords magnificent views of the Kern River Valley during the trip. As the trail climbs into higher elevations, it gets into a mixed pine and fir forest. At Pine Flat the trail parallels the south side of Forest Road #24S12, and crosses Cannell Creek two different times before reaching the Cannell Meadow Forest Service Cabin, built between 1904 and 1909. Trail is considered moderate to strenuous in difficulty, is very open and exposed, and provides little shade.
Trail starts approximately 10 miles north of Kernville on State Mtn. 99 across from Ant Canyon, and proceeds north following the Rincon fault to the Forks of the Kern River. The trail ascends and descends in elevation, in and out of drainages, passing through fiats of Jeffrey and digger pine, cedar and chaparral. Salmon, Brush and Durrwood Creeks are crossed offering good fishing and some nice undeveloped camping spots. This trail intersects with the trail to Packsaddle Cave and further north a tie-in section of trail connects this trail to the River Trail. It is considered moderate to strenuous in difficulty.
Packsaddle Cave Trail
Trail begins 16 miles north of Kernville on State Mtn. 99. The trail is a moderate, occasionally steep incline to a cave that has long since been robbed of some of its stalactites and stalagmites, yet is still worth seeing. Along this incline one will see deer brush, manzanita, live oak, digger pine and sagebrush. Bring a flashlight to explore the cave.
Trail begins at the Fairview foot bridge, 16 miles north of Kernville on State Mtn. 99. Crossing over the bridge, the trail climbs up a small hill, then proceeds to a moderate climb up Flynn Creek drainage. The last half mile of trail is a very steep, strenuous hike up to Speas Ridge. At the ridge, you can tie into a 1.5 mile trail to Johnsondale #32E32 or tie into Forest Service Road #23S33. Larkspur, wildrose, gooseberry and brewer's oak abound in this area. Watch for poison oak!
Trail starts 1/2 mile up the same trailhead as Flynn Trail, forking off at the top of the hill, then descending a short way into Tobias Creek. Here the trail will follow Tobias Creek 1.5 to 2 miles. For the next 2-3 miles the trail climbs to the top of Speas Ridge. The trail is in close proximity to the creek bottom, through mixed chaparral and riparian habitat. The trail offers good fishing along the way. Like the Flynn Trail, during summer months, it's quite hot and dusty going! Trail is considered moderate to strenuous in difficulty.
Trail begins 19 miles north of Kernville on the east side of the Johnsondale Bridge off State Mtn. 99. This trail follows the Kern River, proceeding north from the bridge amid chips of metamorphic rock, eventually intersecting with the Rincon Trail. The trail climbs to a gentle to moderate grade over riverside bluffs, then descends to interspersed riverside terraces. Digger Pine, live oak, incense cedar, manzanita and pine dot the areas as well as high boulders, creating cave-like campsites. Parts of this trail may be submerged at the height of spring run-off. Good access for fishing on the North Fork of the Kern River. Trail suitable for day hikes or overnight backpack trips and is considered easy to moderate in difficulty.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication