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Jeff M.
(Catalyst) - M

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
Southern Sierra ideas on 08/18/2012 10:06:39 MDT Print View

I'm interested in a 2-3 day trip in the southern sierra with some fishing. Perhaps along the Kern out of Jerky Meadows just north of Kernville. Anyone familiar with the area or done any trips near the area? I don't know the area well and I'm finding it hard to get enough info on the area to plan a trip.

Edited by Catalyst on 08/18/2012 10:07:20 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re Kern on 08/18/2012 15:55:39 MDT Print View

Yup, that's the spot. Kern, Little Kern, whatever. Don't tell anyone!

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Southern Sierra on 08/18/2012 18:27:11 MDT Print View

I hike that area a couple of times a year, usually heading in from jerky or the Lewis camp TH. follow them to the little kern, then over to trout meadows, then on to the kern at kern flats. From there it's possible to follow the kern downstream to forks of the kern and then use a combination of road walking and trails to connect back to jerkey.

Might also be able to do a loop from jerkey to trout meadows to round meadow to grey meadow back to the lewis trail and then back to jerkey.

Trails should be in good shape all, or most of the way to kern flat. After that, it's hit or miss.

If you were feeling adventurous, you could go down to kern flat, cross the kern and continue on to soda flat and the Jordan hot springs.

This part of the Golden Trout Wilderness is a popular area with horse packers, very few hikers though. Outside of the main trails, the area doesn't get much use or trail upkeep, so bring a good map and study it well. The endless networks of fire roads and dirt FS roads can get confusing at times. And Harrison's map of the area isn't always current but it's generally good enough.

It's a neat area with some cool old CA cowboy culture and history. Good friends have an inholding around there.

Jeff M.
(Catalyst) - M

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
perfect on 08/19/2012 00:30:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info. That helps a lot. I've been trying to find some closer Sierra trips for when its too hot here in SoCal. Plus not a ton of fishing while you backpack opportunities that I've found outside the Sierra.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Southern Sierra and the GTW on 08/19/2012 08:26:03 MDT Print View

There's a great guidebook (Hiking California's Golden Trout Wilderness by Suzanne Swedo) that covers that area in good detail. I've enjoyed short (2-3 day) backpacking trips down into the Grey's Meadow/Little Kern and the Forks of the Kern areas. Just remember, that this part of the Sierra isn't really high with elevations running in the low 7,000ft range for the trailheads all the way down to 4,800ft at the forks of the Kern and 5,000ft at Kern Flat. Some sections of the trails can be fairly steep with elevation changes of ~1,000ft in just a mile or two. It can get fairly warm down in the main Kern canyon, especially in summer (Jul-Aug). Late September and October is the time I like to hike it. Pay attention to opening day for deer hunting (and maybe even bear hunting) as it can get a bit crazy up there on those weekends.

edited to add fishing info - you can catch two sub-species of Golden Trout in this area. The Little Kern and it's tributaries (Mountaineer, Alpine and Click's creeks) have wild and native Little Kern Goldens in them while the main Kern has wild and native Kern River Rainbows which, in spite of their names, are considered a sub-species of Golden Trout. I'm a fly fisherman and have had great luck with foam hopper patterns, ant patterns and stimulators of various colors. Lots of stone fly nymphs in the water. Pay attention to the special regulations for fishing the area as these are wild and native trout and the area doesn't get planted by the DFG.

Edited by RichardCullip on 08/19/2012 08:34:05 MDT.