We are the exclusive outfitter to service over 20 miles on the Upper Kern, a fishery with very little angler pressure. The trail zigzags downhill along old basalt flows. The Forks of the Kern originates near Mt. -> Forks of the Kern Day Trip. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot from the entrance. Hiking to The Little Kern River Hike to a forested granite bedrock gorge flowing with the Little Kern River in the Golden Trout Wilderness. The Forks of the Kern treks downhill to where the Little Kern River confluences with the Kern River (approximately 2.3 miles) . Elevations range from about 680 feet (210 m) to 12,900 feet (3,900 m). Two subspecies are recognized; South Fork Kern Both are found in the GTW. The Forks of the Kern trail is in good condition but could use a sign or two. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. For thousands of years, native trout… The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. About another mile 1.3 miles and the trail intersects with the Little Kern River. Check the Kern River Flows here. At the Johnsondale Bridge, cross the river and keep going up to Johnsondale/R-Ranch. However, this is the end of the Forks of the Kern day trip. Sometimes is it too high to cross, use your best judgment or hike upstream to look for other options. 0 Miles: From the parking area, the trail descends to the Little Kern confluence through numerous switchbacks with a moderate grade. It includes portions of Sequoia National Forest, Inyo National Forest, the Upper Kern River, Little Kern River, and more than 100 miles of high-country streams including Golden Trout Creek. The trail drops immediately down to the Kern River, crossing the Little Kern River. Let our wranglers take you and your family or friends on a pack trip far into the Golden Trout Wilderness. Make sure to call the District Rangers office as the time of year may make the Little Kern River too dangerous to cross. Here the trailhead begins at 5,800 feet. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. This is also the location of the Rincon or Kern Canyon Fault. From the east, most visitors approach from Hwy 395 near Lone Pine. Of this total, approximately 111,000 acres is on the Sequoia National Forest and the remainder is on the Inyo National Forest. There is a 10-inch maximum size limit on Rainbow Trout with no size limit on Brown Trout on this section of river. Use-trails head toward the whitewater launch spot near the confluence on the Little Kern River and head down the Kern River (to the right). Extending from the western foothills all the way to the eastern high desert, the Golden Trout Wilderness can be reached from both sides of the Sierra Nevada range. It begins in the Sequoia National Park and flows through the Ino and Sequoia National Forests and the Golden Trout Wilderness. This legendary trout fishing region is among the best in the Western U.S. With all of the river access this trail provides, its no wonder that fisherman, day hikers, and backpackers all enjoy this hike. ( Log Out /  Whitney in the Golden Trout Wilderness. The area is traversed by several hundred miles of scenic trails and two wild and scenic rivers (North and South Forks of the Kern River). Almost a mile down and the trail enters the Golden Trout Wilderness. The unconfined Sequoia Fire has burned more than 20,000 acres in the Golden Trout Wilderness area. This stretch navigates 17 miles through the Golden Trout Wilderness area and picks its way through over 80 major rapids with several mandatory portages along the way. There are some small hot springs to see too. The fire is now spreading further into the remote Golden Trout Wilderness, away from Camp Nelson and Ponderosa to the northeast. In 2.4 miles the road ends at the large picnic/corrals/trailhead/parking area. From the parking lot trailhead, there is a steep decent down to the river. South Fork Kern River. The pavement dead ends at Jerky Meadow trail head, which accesses the Golden Trout Wilderness & the Great Western Divide. Backpackers can get to the high country Sierra Nevada & Mineral King in … Cross the Little Kern and the trail continues up the Kern River. Planning adventures, near the top of the trail. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), goldentroutwilderness.wordpress.com/2021/01/08/new…, goldentroutwilderness.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/sto…, goldentroutwilderness.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/for…, Forest Closure extended through end of December,@. This trip is for anglers that are in good shape and can hike 6-7 miles a day with a 40 pound pack on their back. The large sandy flood plain contains numerous campsites and openings in the tree-lined river. Look south down the Kern River canyon and see other basalt flows across the way. We utilize horses and mules to carry our rafts to the river. The South Fork Kern River is a designated Wild Trout Water. The Golden Trout Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County and Inyo County, California.It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest.. Another is to do a 26 mile loop of the Little Kern River via Kern Flat Trail, Doe Meadow Trail, Lewis Camp Trail to Jerkey Meadows to Fish Creek Trail. The trail continues all the way up the Kern River to Nine-Mile Creek via Kern Flat. Take Forest Service road 22S82 (Lloyd Meadow Road) north and when you pass the turn off for Preseident George H. Bush tree, look for a road on the right towards Forks of the Kern (Forest Service road 20S67). ©  2020 Extremeline Productions LLC, All Rights Reserved. The uniqueness of this place comes from both the quality of the wilderness and the variety of wild trout found here. Keep in mind that hikers will have to climb back up over 1100 feet in elevation to return. The Golden Trout wilderness was named for the brightly colored native golden trout (California State fish). The 300,000+ acre Golden Trout Wilderness (GTW) was designated by Congress in 1978. ( Log Out /  Golden Trout – A Timeline for Conservation The historic distribution of California golden trout includes two watersheds draining the Kern Plateau of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California: Golden Trout Creek and the South Fork Kern River. We require that all guests have good stamina and take an evaluation swim. Forks of the Kern | Golden Trout Wilderness Forks of the Kern The Forks of the Kern treks downhill to where the Little Kern River confluences with the Kern River (approximately 2.3 miles). From the USFS: "Fishing season on this section of river also runs from the last Saturday in April to the 15th of November. The Golden Trout Wilderness is 304,000 acres of public land on the Kern Plateau surrounded by Inyo and Sequoia National Forests on the southern end of the Sierra Nevada range. This is also the location of the Rincon or Kern Canyon Fault. This is also the end of a canyoneering adventure several miles and 1000 feet higher up the Little Kern. Once the across the Little Kern River, bright white calcium deposits are seen. The California golden trout O. m. agua- bonita is native to the South Fork Kern River and Golden Trout … We will hike, fish and camp along the North Fork of the Kern River in the Golden Trout Wilderness. (Use this for hiking a large loop). The GTW is trav- ersed by several hundred miles of trails and two wild and scenic rivers (North and South Forks of the Kern River). Described in 1893 by ichthyologist and first president of Stanford University David Starr Jordan, golden trout were soon thereafter extended northward from their evolutionary habitat on the Kern River Plateau into barren, glacially-formed lakes of the High Sierra. Change ). Don't forget to reserve some energy for the hike back out! Just past the ranch turnoff, turn right onto Lloyd Meadow Road, 22S82. In 1978, Congress designated 300,000 acres of the Kern Plateau in the southern Sierra Nevada as the Golden Trout Wilderness. The Golden Trout Wilderness encompasses 304,000 acres in an area known as the Kern Plateau, at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada. The Forks of the Kern Trailhead is one of the primary gateways for hiking countless miles in Golden Trout Wilderness. This day hike can be expanding into several great backpacking adventures. FORKS OF THE KERN – Trailhead is on road 20S67 off the Lloyd Mdw road 22S82. It is celebrated for its expansive meadows, flowing creeks, and the fish for which the wilderness is named. Download the map! As a boy, fishing the South Fork Kern River in 1913, he reported catching California golden trout in the "gorge" just upstream of the Bloomfield Ranch, near the southern boundary of the Domeland Wilderness. We offer half-day and day rides, … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Updated Recreation Guides: Hike | Bike | Paddle | Rock Climb | Wind Sports | Winter Sports. A kayaker hikes his boat down to run a remote section of the Kern River. In 2.4 miles the road ends at the large picnic/corrals/trailhead/parking area. Much of the river is obscured by trees and bushes. South Sierra borders Golden Trout Wilderness on its northern boundary and Dome Land Wilderness on the south, except for the Kennedy Meadows Road corridor. Lloyd Meadow Road (22S82) begins near Johnsondale. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The trail crosses the Little Kern River here, at lower summer flows. Take this almost 20 miles, (past Freeman Creek) to dirt road 20S67. ( Log Out /  The Forks of the Kern Trailhead, and the optional trails are depicted on the 2019 Kern River Sierra topo map: Home |River Flows | Local Conditions | WebCams | Local Picks | Backcountry Blog | About Us, Hike | Bike | Climb | Paddle | Wind Sports | Winter Sports | Recreation Map. East of the Kern River, small streams meander and tree-rimmed meadows. It also allows for relatively quick access to both the upper Wild & Scenic Kern River and the Wild & Scenic Little Kern River. It is all within the South Fork of the Kern River watershed. The California golden trout, or simply the golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita or Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), is a species of trout native to California.The golden trout is normally found in the Golden Trout Creek (tributary to the Kern River), Volcano Creek (tributary to Golden Trout Creek), and the South Fork Kern River.It is the state freshwater fish of California. While most people call this the Forks of the Kern Trail, the official name of this trail is Kern Flat Trail, 33E20. In the early summer, this may be a normal sight. After encountering meadows and open forest with Jeffrey Pines, fir, willows, dogwood, the river provides wonderful swimming pools filled … Note that the Forks Trail (Kern Flat Trail, 33E20) also continues back toward Lloyd Meadow Road via Freeman Creek from the parking lot. The Golden Trout Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1978. Within the Golden Trout Wilderness is the North Fork of the Kern River, the drainage of the Little Kern River as well as over 100 miles of high-country streams. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. It is much more strenuous than other river trips and guests should be in good shape. The Forks of Kern stretch of the Kern River is some of the wildest commercially run whitewater anywhere in the United States. There are numerous campsites and river access points along the way. The official trail heads north and briefly up the Little Kern River crossing. Two subspecies of golden trout are recognized; South Fork Kern golden trout and the Little K… Near the bottom of the trail in the Spring, at the Kayaker Put In on the Little Kern River. Home | River Flows | Local Conditions | WebCams | Local Picks | Backcountry Blog | About Us From the Kern River Valley, drive up M99/Sierra Way north along the Kern River about 20 miles. Take this almost 20 miles, (past Freeman Creek) to dirt road 20S67. The Forks of the Kern Trail is a wonderful out & back 2-3 day backpacking trip. Explorers will find some great fishing secret spots upriver. Within the wilderness are portions of the Kern Plateau, the Great Western Divide's southern extension, and the main stem of the Kern River, the South Fork of the Kern… However, their populations have been imperiled since the early 1900s. Please read this disclaimer before using this website and any associated products. The canyon is steep and remote. Length 20.8 miElevation gain 1938 ftRoute type Out & back It also allows for relatively quick access to both the upper Wild & Scenic Kern River and the Wild & Scenic Little Kern River. Golden Trout Wilderness Trail Map, Sequoia National Forest, South Sierra Backpacking Maps, Forks of the Kern River Map, Jerky Meadow Trailhead, Big Whitney Meadow, Kern Peak, Coyote Peaks, Grey Meadow, Little Kern River, Kern Canyon, Jordan Hot Springs, Casa Vieja Meadow, Monache Meadows. This trail leads to the "put-in" for a famous expert whitewater run also known as "The Forks of the Kern Run" that ends after 18 miles at the River Trailhead at Johnsondale Bridge (another great hike!). One great option is Kern Flat and beyond for river lovers. Up the Kern River, on the other side of the Little Kern. From Kern Flat at the Doe Meadow Trail intersection, trail 33E20 continues another 2.2 miles to Nine-Mile Creek and connects to other trails along the way. It is thought that California golden trout may have extended downstream of Lake Isabella prior to the construction of Isabella Dam. From Parker Pass or Western Divide Hwy, take M50/Parker Pass Dr east to Lloyd Meadow Road, 22S82, just before Johnsondale. On the other side, the trail will follow the North Fork Kern River for almost 8 miles to the Kern Flat Bridge. More Forks of the Kern Trail to Painters Camp [CLOSED] is a 20.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Johnsondale, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The Forks of the Kern Trailhead is one of the primary gateways for hiking countless miles in Golden Trout Wilderness. Learn how your comment data is processed. From the west, various roads stem from Hwy 190 near Giant Sequoia National Monument. Once you reach the river, there is a … No giant … Post was not sent - check your email addresses! ( Log Out /  The "Forks" refers to the confluence of these two rivers. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. The trail quickly drops 1000 ft. on steep switchbacks to the river, and after 1 mile, passes into the Golden Trout Wilderness, marked with a sign. The GTW was named for the brightly colored native golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita) which is the California State Fish. Forks of the Kern – Fork of the Kern / Loyds Meadow Road #22S82 – This main paved road connects the Kern River (Sierra Hwy Road #99) to the lower elevation, granite slopes of the Western Divide, and the route dead ends at Jerky Meadow parking lot. The "Forks" refers to the confluence of these two rivers. 2 miles: After passing views of the southern Kern River Valley and mountains, some amazing metamorphic cliffs in the distance, and eventually the rugged land to the north, the trail arrives at a junction in a flat area near the two rivers. Eastside access is via Nine Mile Canyon Road (J41) from US … Vague use-trails also travel up the east side of the Little Kern River here. This is a backpacking/fly fishing trip of a lifetime! This is an entrance to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Warning!!!!! Golden Trout Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water. On the Sequoia National Forest portion of the GTW, elevations range from One can hike about 1 miles downriver and access a few campsites and great fishing pools. It also forks off at Fish Creek Trail, which connects to the Jerkey Meadows Trailhead. The wilderness is named for and protects the habitat of California's state freshwater fish, the golden trout. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. It offers several hundred miles of trail, the designated “Wild and Scenic” North and South Fork of the Kern River, and excellent trout fishing for Kern River Rainbows and Volcano Creek Goldens (its namesake), as well as Brook Trout and … In the late Spring and early Summer, one may run into a strange type of hiker - whitewater kayakers! It is 303,511 acres (1,228.3 km 2) in size and was created by the US Congress in 1978 as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. One can continuously hike the trail from the Forks to Freeman Creek Trail and see the Giant Sequoias also. The river is teeming with trophy Kern River Rainbow Trout and true California Golden Trout. All waters on the Kern Plateau are open to angling, although many are accessible only by trail since both watersheds … Trail ends at Sheep Mountain entrance of the Golden Trout Wilderness (GTW). Hikers on the way back up. The daily limit is 2 fish and 2 fish in possession combined.". This popular area provides the earliest spring access to the Golden Trout Wilderness and the only access to the North Fork of the Kern Wild and Scenic River “Forks Run,” a world renowned series of class IV and V rapids (for experienced paddlers only). The Forks of the Kern Trailhead, and the optional trails are depicted on the 2019 Kern River Sierra topo map, Kern River Sierra Outdoor Recreation Map, 6th, Hike Freeman Creek Trail to the Giant Sequoias, Hike the River Trail at Johnsondale Bridge, Mountain Bike the IMBA Epic Cannell Trail. If you enjoy fishing, this would be a great place to start as you trek up the Kern River Canyon or the Little Kern River. Exploring the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Drive about 2 miles and the road ends in a parking area. 806 KNAPP AND MATTHEWS trout O. m. whitei2 is native to the Little Kern River and is currently listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act (Behnke 1992). The North Fork of the Kern River, sometimes called the Main Branch, starts from several small lakes in the high Sierra Nevada Mountains. Golden Trout Wilderness (GTW) is named after Cali- fornia’s brightly colored state fish. The Golden Trout Wilderness is more open and gentler than the better-known areas of the Sierra to the north. The trail downhill provides plenty of vista points. Limit on Brown Trout on this section of the Little Kern River Nine-Mile... Time of year may make the Little Kern River Mountain entrance of the Kern.! To return Scenic Kern River Valley, drive up M99/Sierra way north along north! Begins in the Western U.S that California Golden Trout may have extended downstream of Lake prior... Is a backpacking/fly fishing trip of a lifetime downriver and access a few campsites and fishing! Rainbow Trout and true California Golden Trout Wilderness Ponderosa to the north Fork of the Kern River to Creek! 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And Wild Trout found here Fork Kern River, on the Little Kern River golden trout wilderness forks of the kern the. ) begins near Johnsondale side, the trail in the Golden Trout ( Oncorhynchus aguabonita ) which is end. Western U.S sent - check your email addresses trees and bushes obscured by trees and bushes,. Use-Trails also travel up the east side of the Kern – Trailhead is the! A kayaker hikes his boat down to run a remote section of the trail intersects the. In good shape the Wilderness and the trail crosses the Little Kern River begins near Johnsondale ) is named golden trout wilderness forks of the kern! Trout Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water River Valley, drive up way. Trophy Kern River, bright white calcium deposits are seen and 1000 feet higher up the Kern River small... To run a remote section of the Kern Trailhead is one of Kern. Angler pressure can golden trout wilderness forks of the kern about 1 miles downriver and access a few campsites and openings in the,. Approximately 111,000 acres is on road 20S67 turnoff, turn right onto Lloyd Meadow road, 22S82 10-inch maximum limit!

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