Kern Plateau Trail
(qualifies for Kern Plateau Trail High Adventure Patch)

 

SUMMARY: A 52-mile backpack trip in the southern Sierra Nevadas that starts at Kennedy Meadows. Allow 6 to 7 days for the trip.

  Altitude Interval Miles Total Miles
KENNEDY MEADOWS CAMPGROUND
6,100
0.0
0.0
CLOVER MEADOW
7,200
4.0
4.0
BECK MEADOW
8,000
4.0
8.0
BRODER MEADOW
8,000
3.0
11.0
GRANITE KNOB SADDLE
8,500
3.0
14.0
SMITH COW CAMP
8,000
2.0
16.0
BEACH RIDGE
8,500
1.0
17.0
** BEACH MEADOW GUARD STATION
8,000
2.0
19.0
RATTLESNAKE CREEK
7,500
3.0
24.0
BONITA MEADOW
8,400
2.0
26.0
CURLISS GUARD STATION
8,400
1.0
27.0
UPPER TROUT CREEK
8,400
2.0
29.0
SHERMAN PASS
9,150
1.0
30.0
DURWOOD MEADOW
8,800
1.0
31.0
ROUND MEADOW
9,000
1.0
32.0
MOSQUITO MEADOW
8,800
1.0
33.0
DEADWOOD MEADOW
8,800
2.0
35.0
BIG MEADOW
7,800
3.0
38.0
BIG MEADOW PASS
8,400
2.0
40.0
CANNELL MEADOW
7,600
3.0
43.0
TUNNEL SPRINGS
5,200
6.0
49.0
KERN RIVER FISH HATCHERY
2,700
3.0
52.0

** At this point, an alternate fishing trail may be taken to Bonita Flat, then up Rattlesnake Creek to rejoin the main trail. The elevation at Bonita Flat is 6,200 feet, and this side trip adds about 2 miles to the total length of the trip.

DESCRIPTION: Depart from Kennedy Campground on the South fork of the Kern River. The trail goes north up the South fork for 1 miles where the trail leaves the river and goes through Clover Meadow to Beck Meadow. Travel westerly along the south edge of Monache Meadow to Broder Meadow. Continue westerly through Granite Knob saddle past Smith's Cow Camp on Fish Creek where Golden Trout can be found. Continue up over Beach Ridge and down to Beach Guard Station, an early USFS cabin. Follow the trail downhill to Rattlesnake Creek (an alternate trail may be taken to fish Rattlesnake creek) and up to Bonita Meadow, the site of another USFS cabin. Head south by Curliss Guard Station to the highest point on the trail crossing the headwaters of Trout Creek over Sherman Pass, through Durwood Meadow and Round Mountain to Mosquito Meadow. Watch for grouse and wild turkey. The trail continues southward to Big Meadow where many conservation projects can by completed. Leaving Big Meadow follow the trial up Big Meadow Pass then downhill dropping off the Kern Plateau through Cannel Meadows and onto Tunnel Springs. During the descent, there are outstanding views of the Kern River Valley. Continue downhill past the USFS corral and Camp Owens to the Kern River Fish Hatchery. Arrange for a tour before heading home.

MAPS NEEDED:

Lamont Peak Quadrangle
Monacho Mountain Quadrangle
Hockett Peak Quadrangle
Kernville Quadrangle

 



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