Lewis Camp Trail to the Little Kern River

MODERATE 10 reviews
#1 of 7 trails in

Lewis Camp Trail to the Little Kern River is a 8.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Porterville, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1938 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

beach

forest

river

The Little Kern River Bridge was built in 1957 and is still being maintained by the USDA Forest Service. Day hikes and over night hikes to this area are common for those wanting to fish the area for Golden Trout. The bridge is also built to handle equestrian use, which visitors are likely to see.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike with great views during the first couple miles in, and then a pretty neat fiver crossing at Kern. No joke though, that uphill hike basically the entire hike back is very tough.

hiking
5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

Completed this hike over fathers day weekend 2017 after tons of research trying to find a trail that had open roads, safe river crossings, and was without 5-10ft of snow. We hiked into Trout Meadows Friday night and made camp and day hiked down to the Kern River from there returning on Sunday. With the current snow melt situation there was plenty of water to filter along the way and the meadows were lush and alive. The little Kern and especially the big Kern were raging. We had hoped to find a little spot by the river that we could splash around in but the most we put in were our feet due to the current. Well maintained trail through diverse communities with moments of sweeping views of the canyons and snow capped peaks. All in all we roughly covered 30 miles. We saw deer, a bear, a bit of bear scat along the trail, lots of baby frogs and wildflowers in the meadows, heard bears, heard a huge group of coyotes, watched a helicopter make 3 flights over head (still not sure why), and warded off mosquitos. As others have said the reverse grade was quite a butt kicker and hiking out during the heat wave was tough as well as through the sandy trail. But overall it was magical and beautiful and we had an amazing time.

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike, except for the whole retrograde elevation aspect. Climbing uphill to finish the hike isn't ideal, but this hike had enough goodies to more than make up for it. The first 2 miles or so you have great views north into the High Sierras. This time of year (early June), most of the peaks were still snowcovered. Occasionally to the south you can catch a glimpse of the north side of the Needles. You'll come across water access about 3 miles in, which is consistent the rest of the way in to the Little Kern River. Once at the river, hang out at a river access point down by the bridge for a moment before heading on further into the trail, or turning back. The footbridge across the Little Kern is very sturdy and well engineered, and can be crossed anytime of year.

camping
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

What is the parking spot about 5 miles away from the bridge on the Little Kern? Anyone know? I have been to it twice but have forgotten.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Well worn trail. Like walking in sand from all the horse traffic. We took a wrong trail and the 5 mile in turned into a 15 mile in!! My own fault. The way back from the little kern is all uphill!!!

hiking
Tuesday, July 07, 2015

hiking
Thursday, April 16, 2015

We hiked this trail in March and it was awesome. We started at the Jerky meadow parking lot for a one day hike. It was all uphill from the beginning to golden trout wilderness sign. From there we headed towards the bridge and little kern and it was all downhill. When reached the river it felt good to soak our feet in the river and to refuel on some snacks. This was my second time walking this trail and it won't be the last. I had more fun with an overnight stay than just a one day in and out hike. If you get a chance ad it to your bucket list.

fishing
Friday, May 03, 2013

This was a great trail! The fishing was awesome and it is hard to beat catching one of the rarest trout in the USA, The Little Kern Golden Trout. The fish would literally jump out of the water and hit my fly! I hiked in June and it got pretty hot. Great time fishing all the streams and definitely worth the trip!

hiking
Friday, February 10, 2012

This is a well maintained trail, very wide in some places, the good thing about this trail its mostly downhill to the river but its a long uphill climb back. This trail is also heavily used you will not be alone on this trail.