Explore Kernville Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Kernville Hikes Map
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hiking
3 days ago

This has been our go-to trail for years (from Bakersfield). There are 4 creek crossings within the first 2 miles, and fairly child friendly up to the 2 mile point. After that it gets much harder, but the 3-4 mile mark is when the best views start popping up. This trail has gained a lot of popularity over the years so we try to avoid it on weekends but the groups of people generally disappear after the 2 mile point. In deep summer the creeks are dry and it is HOT so please bring plenty of water. And if you bring dogs (we usually have 3) I recommend just having the pack in their own water to be sure they have plenty themselves without making your pack that much heavier.

hiking
23 days ago

It’s a glute buster to start, but pretty amazing to change through so many biomes. A head lamp will help for cave exploration and definitely fill your camel pack full of ice because it gets warm!!!!

Amazing trail. We camped across the street the night before. Started at 630 a.m. The hike up to the top of the main ridge was steep but was in shade the whole way up. The trees and creek were a nice change of scenery. There was a camping spot before the final push up to the cave. It was 100 degrees that day and the trek down was hell. Bring something to replace your electrolytes if you're hiking in the heat. We went through a ton of water. The Kern River offers a nice way to cool off when you're done.

Thus trail is a little strenuous but very impressive. Some steep open hot sections and some creek side shady sections. Scenery very impressive. Easy to get to. .

This cave was awesome! one of the coolest things I have seen on a hike.

I came across this trail when I saw the cave marked on a map. I definitely had to take this as an opportunity to see the cave! It was worth the trek but be sure to leave early in the morning because it gets hot and there’s not a whole lot of shade. The views are great throughout and when you get by the creek you can really soak up your bandana to keep cool. I took my dog on this trail and he loved it. Be sure to bring lots of water- i drank nearly 3 liters the whole way! Coconut water was a nice thing to carry.

on Mill Creek Trail

2 months ago

I'm a beginning hiker but my son told me the first couple miles of this trail would be easy. I'm so glad I went for it! I walked in a little less than 2 miles and loved every step of it before it got steeper and I decided to turn back. There were a couple of low stream crossings, beautiful views, and we got to see it coyote run across the trail close in front of us with a squirrel in his mouth. I can't wait to go back and challenge myself to go further uphill.

It’s really relaxing and calm hike. I and a friend almost made it to the top. I highly recommend it.

Bring lots of water. Flashlight is a must. Walking back is way better than walking there!!

hiking
2 months ago

Wowzers! This was extremely difficult for me... the elevation changes really made it even harder, but the constant inclines & declines were killer. Yes, the 1st part is the steepest but it never gets easier... just down to go back up to go back down several times. Absolutely no shade for over half the trail. The creeks were a nice reprieve - we took hand towels & soaked them in the water (likely the only thing that kept us out of medical danger). We had lots of water, but still not enough - we ran out half way back on the return... Don't forget that steep 1st incline is also an incredibly steep decline at the end... this was causing alot of pain on our toes & feet. The cave is definitely neat, but it's a long trek out. There is a geocache there too... If you think you have enough water, get more... double it!

hiking
2 months ago

We went on this trail during Memorial Day Weekend, and the plants were a bit of a bummer ( foxtails, yellow starthistle-like plants that kept getting caught in our hiking boots/pricking us through our pants). I’m not sure if the trail is more maintained during the rest of the year, but also the creek was dried out and we didn’t see any water. There were a few parts where the view was beautiful, but it’s a lot of effort to get there through the rough and dusty road.

1st bit probably the most challenging. The cave experience was quite rewarding. I would say the trail is a must if you are in the area. Bring a flashlight and water.

Did this hike back in February. It started to snow a bit once we got to the cave but no snow at all on the path.
As mentioned before, the initial climb is steep on goes on for a while. However, I would still rate this hike as moderate, since I feel like I did harder ones that were rated as moderate in this area. It takes a while to get to the actual caves, the hike itself felt like more than 5 miles to me. The caves are quite big and I'd recommend this trail especially for the winter/early spring and late fall time when everything else around this area is snowed in and you're still looking for a somewhat challenging hike.

We hike all over Keyesville a few times a week. I really like that there is a massive amount of ways to go, trails to hike. I recently hiked and we saw a big gopher snake (what I was told by reptile rescue was a gopher, see photo), We also saw a deceased Bobcat, looked pretty young. I was a little bummed because it looked like it may have been shot and I have hiked there and found shotgun shells on at least 3 different occasions, that sometimes worries me because if someone is shooting and they don't know where people are at on these trails it can be very bad. All in all its a really easy/moderate trail and I love the different paths and scenery.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike, went there with my friend today.

The initial climb is challenging, but it plateaus out a bit, crosses a creek three times, and the cave is on the left.

Very cool to see the Native American cave paintings.

A wonderful hike with incredible views. We shared the trail with a mountain lion today, be careful. Also, be prepared for quite the uphill trek.

Awesome hike, ~1.75 hours there, 1 back

This was our first hike, and ay yi yi. I wouldn't choose it for your first, but it is definitely doable. It's pretty much a straight climb for the first mile, at least. It was fun, once we got past the initial climb. You cross a creek probably three times, its pretty. I wouldn't suggest doing this once it gets warm, you're super exposed to the elements, with zero shade. I will say, if you dont read all the reviews before you hike, you will more than likely miss the cave (like the hikers that were about 30 min behind us). Signs are knocked down, pointing in the wrong direction, but the best advise, stay to the left, lol. There are piles of rocks on rocks, stay to the left, or go left if there is a fork. Once you reach "the cave" sign, look up to your left, and behind you some...you will see the cave; it's about .25 miles from that left turn around the large rock. Take a flashlight the cave is big, and dark. It's a fun hike, but strenuous if you're not in shape. It took us 2 and a half hours, there and back. Have fun, happy hiking.

Great hike, took my dog and the wildflowers were beautiful

trail running
4 months ago

well maintained trail thanks to the "Stuards of the Sierras" volunteering to keep these trails nice and clear for us. thanks guys!

This trail is easy until mile 2.5, from there elevation is gained quicky and without mercy almost all the way to mile 7.5.
I am an experienced hiker/trail runner and I would rate some sections of this as mederate to hard.

After about Mile 6 you are all the way up in the big pretty pine trees with good canopy cover. its much nicer terrain and there was a small spring at mile 7
I even got cell sigal at the very top.

In total i logged 14.45 miles for this out and back and it took me right at 4 hrs to run/ walk

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Lost my GOPRO if you found it or find it please send me a text. 6619794798. Much appreciated.

If you reach the Rincon trail head, turn back you’ve gone too far. There’s a sharp left that is marked by white rocks that is easy to go past. The pack saddle 2.25 mike trail head is in the wrong place, so don’t follow it. Other than, very cool hike. Bring good flashlights.

hiking
4 months ago

Mill Creek Trail
Beautiful trail in the spring! We only went in two miles then back but it was gorgeous and we crossed four creeks. If just heading in a short distance I would call it Easy not Moderate, but I'm guessing it gets steeper. We took a small group and everyone loved it. Trailhead starts out a little steep but thats only like an 1/8 of a mile, then it moves on to rolling hills. Enjoyed the open spaces but my favorite was the wooded areas near the creeks. Looking forward to coming back to do the whole thing!

hiking
5 months ago

Views were nice and the trail was well groomed. Tired cave with good examples of formations on the inside. Allot bigger than I thought it would be. As far as a moderate rating, I must need to get in better shape, between moderate and difficult.

My brother and I hiked this trail to the cave yesterday leaving around 1pm and arriving back to our car around 3:30pm. There is quite a decent incline in the beginning and because of this as well as some of the trail having a few obstacles (mainly downed trees) I'd say this trail is more on the hard side if I were to compare it to other hard-rated trails on AllTrails. The cave was really cool but bring a high powered flashlight to enjoy it fully. All we had were the flashlights on our iPhones which were ok but not great.

off road driving
5 months ago

It’s a fire road and very well groomed. No 4wd needed. Access to Chimney Creek Campground from 9 mile side and closer to Onyx is the turnoff for Big Foot creek and Long? campground. Nice areas for mostly tent camping. I don’t believe there are any hookups, but there are restrooms at the Chimney Peak campground.

off road driving
6 months ago

One of a few off-road trails in the area and it's one well worth exploring. We aim to go back and retrace our routes, though next time while tracking with AllTrails....

off road driving
6 months ago

A very easy graded road drive that gives great access to numerous hikes and camping.
But it's not the drive but where it gets you. A really nice spot.

First off, please keep in mind that there are TICKS IN THE TREES that will drop on you. I pulled one off my dog during the hike and just found one on my rib. Other than that, the trail itself is absolutely gorgeous, and the cave is a wonder to behold. The stalagmites are still forming and all the formations are truly incredible. My dogs had no problem on the trail, though they are in great shape. Once you reach the end of the trail, you'll notice the sign fell down and someone had dragged it further down the trail, but we put it back where it belongs. You'll want to go to the left to get up to the cave.

Trailhead is unmarked. You will need to go to what looks like a fire road directly across from the fairview campground parking. Trail is straight up and you will need to keep an eye out for markings when you get to the end showing you to the cave. It is not clearly marked and cairns or rock arrows as indicated in pictures have been changed or moved.

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