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blueBlack Kern River Trail

  4.4 ( 9 ) Favorite

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16.8 mile 27.0 kilometer point to point
100% Singletrack


Ascent: 2,163' 659 m
Descent: -2,902' -885 m
High: 3,217' 981 m
Low: 2,044' 623 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


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The gem of the lower Kern. Smooth and nicely scenic singletrack ride with big ups and downs.

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E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-


The Kern River Trail (31E75) begins at Pearl Harbor Drive in Keyesville Recreation Area. There are moderate, rideable grades and fairly substantial elevation changes as the trail climbs above the Kern River through mostly open hillsides of grass and oak trees. There can be excellent wildflower displays along this trail from mid-March to late April. Intermediate riders.

Need to Know

The best way ride this trail is to set up a shuttle and ride from Keyesville down to the Delonegha bridge. The GPS indicated 3400 feet of ascent and 3700 feet of descent. The occasional motorcycle uses the route so use caution. Other hazards include rattlesnakes and steep descents. Make sure to bring lots of water if you're crazy enough to try it in Summer.


The trail takes off from the high point of the Keyesville classic and heads west above the Kern River. Stage at the Keyesville staging area and ride clockwise on the Keyesville classic until you reach the ridge line and see the sign for the Kern River trail which dives off the ridge to the west. Expect great views and gorgeous wildflower displays in spring.

The Kern River Trail crosses a couple of good sized ridge lines, but almost all the grades are rideable by the moderate rider. The biggest climb comes in at about the 10-mile mark when you climb from 2400 feet up to 3200 feet. The last 6 miles is almost entirely downhill and drops from the high point of 3200 feet down 1200 feet to the parking lot.

There are starting to be a few spots where ruts are forming that will either force you to walk due to the rut being deeper than pedal level. This is also causing the trail to wide in sections. other hazards include snakes, sand and summer heat.

It's primo smooth singletrack. There are a couple of trail junctions that are well marked but as always bring a map and compass and know how to use them. The lower staging area is the Delonegha bridge turn out. Jump in the river to soothe sore muscles then jump in the car to head 11 miles back to the Keyesville Staging area. Grab your other car then head up to Kernville for a cold one at the Kern River Brewery.

History & Background

A classic route maintained by the volunteer efforts of the Southern Sierra Fat Tire Association and Stewards of the Sequoia.


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Mar 24, 2019
Clay Cooper
excellent conditions beautiful views and lots of flowers 20mi
Feb 25, 2019
Clay Cooper
14mi — 3h 00m
Apr 20, 2012
Phillip Bustamante
Got about a mile past freeway ridge 4x4 trailhead and ran out of water! 9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 9 votes


in Keyesville


  4.4 from 9 votes
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235 Views Last Month
8,220 Since Mar 31, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Trevor Miller
Toronto, CA
Trevor Miller   Toronto, CA
We do a biking destination trip every year and by the end of this ride we were ready to be done. There are several amazing sections, with some great flow, but the description here was a little misleading. We did this as a shuttle from the Keyesville Classic trail to the end of Kern River. Strava had our distance at 21.7 mi and 3,043 ft of climbing. I think it's still worth checking out, but make sure you know what you're getting yourself into! Jun 30, 2015
Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
This is my hometown stomping grounds. This is an intermediate ride in every way. Solid blue without a black diamond (a green diamond would be more suitable). The locals often cut this ride in half by leaving a car at "the corral" near the 1/2 way point. There is an easy to spot dirt parking area there. Then you can choose to ride the upper segment or the lower segment. Another option is to do an out and back from the bottom (the bridge), go to the high point and turn around. This is one of my favorite trails but it is not overly challenging. It's flowing and scenic with zero gnar. Apr 14, 2016
Erin Carroll
Santa Barbara, CA
Erin Carroll   Santa Barbara, CA
Kern River trail is GREAT, but why isn't Badger Gap Trail on here? I have the GPX if you need it to add to this website. Also there are a TON of great singletrack/moto trails on the Kern Plateau that are excellent for MTBing and they are not on this website. I have the GPX for all of those trails too if you want to post them here. Oct 11, 2017

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