Lewis Camp Trail to the Little Kern River [CLOSED]

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Golden Trout Wilderness

Lewis Camp Trail to the Little Kern River [CLOSED] is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Johnsondale, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.8 miElevation gain1,938 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestRails trailsRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeClosedHistoric site
Description
Waypoints (0)

As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. 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.

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Reviews (21)
Photos (46)
Recordings (15)
Completed (44)
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Ethan Bradley
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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.

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Julie Kathleen
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Backpacking

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.

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Steve Oswald
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Hiking

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.

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Mark Dehart
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Camping

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.

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Mike Sumrall
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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!!!

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John Hampton
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Fishing

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!

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Steve Hylton
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Hiking
First to Review

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.

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Ann Chuck Roudebush
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Hiking
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Ann Chuck Roudebush
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Hiking
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Nic Rinella
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Backpacking
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Oskar Winqvist
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Hiking
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Tara Wilson
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Hiking
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Berlanti Azhak
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Hiking
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Trey Blaubach
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Hiking
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ben feldman
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Hiking
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Dave Dorrance
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Hiking
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Robert Marley
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Hiking
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Travis Bartosh
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Hiking
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Eli Youssefi
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Hiking
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Valerie Norton
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Hiking
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Vasily Nikolaev
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Hiking
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