“A fantastic link-up of loamy, flowing trails at the top and technical, rocky, steep trails at the bottom.
— Leslie Kehmeier
Best done as a shuttle, this ride combines two fantastic Kernville trails.
At the top is Just Outstanding
, which is a great, flowing trail with lots of turns and nice loamy dirt. At the bottom is Dutch Flat Trail
, which is technical rocky steep chunk. Both very different trails, this ride combines them all.
In the middle is a fire road section linking them up. This ride is not a match for the Cannell Trail in either epic-ness, scenery, or length. However, I found these trails were consistently more fun due to increased flow up top and the technical chunk factor of Dutch Flat. If you love technical, rocky trails with step-downs, drops, and steep sections you'll love Dutch Flat Trail
Be sure to check the weather and fire reports/restrictions.
Need to Know
Park a car at the bottom, then shuttle up to the parking lot of the ski area. It is a long drive up (45 min?). Keep an eye out for motos, I hear they are common. Pack a jacket, extra tubes, brake pads, trail food, and LOTS OF WATER. Weather being snowy and cold at the top and scorching hot at the bottom is not uncommon. Be prepared and HAVE FUN. Come unprepared, and you'll suffer the consequences...
The top of this ride is unusual for SoCal. Start on Just Outstanding
, a flowing trail through the woods, with great dirt quality, not the loose cat litter that's more the norm. Some sections are very narrow, so careful with those 800mm bars! Lots of fun up here, small berms, twisty turns, lots of smiles. As you lose elevation the trees transition to the "Manzanita tunnel".
Eventually, you'll come to a meadow and Waggy Flat Rd. Continue on this for awhile, passing some houses. Beware of an attack dog near the houses!
Make a left at the intersection after the houses on Sawmill Rd and then make a right onto some singletrack / moto trails which lead up to a granite ledge section. Go around the hill and descend some slabs to a stream crossing, then back up to the next ridgeline. Make a right at the junction on the ridgeline, and soon you'll get to the trail junction with Dutch Flat Trail
Dutch Flat Trail
is a steep, loose on hardpack, chunky, technical trail, every bit classic SoCal. This trail is a polar opposite to Just Outstanding
but is a ton of fun. Keep your eyes peeled for the massive ruts from motos while ripping it downhill and hitting air off of the plethora of rocks.
There are trails everywhere in the lower section, but we had no trouble getting back to our cars. Be aware off blind drops throughout the lower reaches of the route. Look before you leap!
History & Background
These trails are stewarded and supported by several local clubs and groups. Kern River Mountain Bike Association, Stewards of the Sierra, Southern Sierra Fat Tire Association, and Tehachapi Mountain Trails Association (among others) ride and love these trails frequently. Show them your support if you can. Trails don't maintain themselves...