- Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Southern California Trails
Cannell Meadow - #CannellMeadow
Socal - Kern County - Kernville NickNames: #CannellMeadow
From Bakersfield, take Highway 178 to Lake Isabella. Turn on Highway 155 north to Kernville. Go past Kernville still traveling north to the "Sherman Pass" Road. Go to the summit which is approximately 10-15 miles. The starting point is at the top of the summit.
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- Trail UpdateVery Sandy-Still a really fun trail but this is the worst I have seen conditions on this trail in years. Two years of below average rain/snow coupled with an ever-increasing amount of motor bikes is really taking it's toll on this trail. Once, the cream of the crop in this area, it really is not even in the top ten with conditions like this. There is very little that is still firm on this trail. The more depressing thing is that from Sherman Pass to Kernville we saw exactly 0 other bikers and about 20 or so motor-cross bikers. That only means the trail is getting worse.
Even though the trail conditions were bad, it is still an amazing area to ride. The meadows are still green and the forests have for the most part escaped the fires of the last several years. And until you get about 1/3rd of the way down the plunge you get to escape the crazy summer heat and the oven that is Kernville.
Have fun if you go, just be prepared to slip and slide around every sand filled turn.
a Cross-Country Rider from California
- Trail UpdateCannell Meadow-Well!...I have wanted to do this trail for YEARS!...Finally got it done! Did it Friday, July 1st & the top had some pretty cool snow "patches" that were never longer than 25 yards! You could ride over most of them...I endowed(??) over the 3rd or 5th one, after that I got a little respect for the snow patches haa-haa! As far as far as the rest of the trail it was pretty awesome go prepared! It had everthing you could imagine! EVERYTHING! I was very glad & VERY THANKFULL for all of the 6 inches of suspension my Ellsworth Moment had available!
All I can say is this ride "Ain't all downhill"! It has some uphills & go prepared to pedal...it was way fun! I went with 5 other guys, one of them was a local "Kernville" MTBR & we were all thankfull he was there to "guide" us "flat-landers" over the trail!
IF you have the stamina you need to do this ride...it took about 3-4 or more hours.... (I don't really remember!??) from the start & that was with several rests for "re-grouping" as we needed to wait occasionally for all 6 of us to come together at possible trail junctions! (We honestly never sat for a "lunch-break of sorts)
All I can say is BRING lot's of water & energy suppliments so you do not bonk & make the ride become a BUMMER FOR YOU OR OTHERS ...SO DO NOT GO UNPREPARED!
"IF" you are a "serious", "die-hard" AND "VERY EXPERIENCED" mountain biker then go do this ride b-4 you get too old! haaaa-haaaa! You will NEVER REGRET IT & will be able to say you did it!
- Trail UpdateAWESOME!!!-I was upthere with Mike and Henry and will definitely be there again. I think we've spoiled ourselves this weekend and now no local rides will compare.
Ride rating: Advanced
Singletrack=90% Dirt Road=10%
Victor a 31 year old riding a VT1 from Glendora
- Trail UpdateYep-This had to be one of the top 5 rides I have ever done.It took hours to wipe the smiles off our mugs.The other ride we did up there was "Just Outstanding" and the name fits.I won't be able to wait till next fall to ride this again, I'll be going back in May.Man, was this ride a blast.The trail seems to have mellowed out a little with some of the obstacles that I had a hard time with are no longer there.Last time doing this trail I must have dabbed a dozen times and crashed a couple too.This time down,no such story.Although I didn't clean it I got close.My biggest problem this year was looking for a place to pass.Most people just pulled over and let us fly by.I expected big ruts from the storms we got last week,but they got a lot less up there then we did here and most of the ruts are very small. Mountain bikers as group just seem to be some of the nicest people I've ever met and this weekend was par for the course.Everybody was in a great mood and having a great time.They really put on a good shin-ding at their Fat Tire Festival.And the Halloween Party was pretty funny too.I just wished I'd saved a little energy for it.I was falling asleep at the party.I will be making this an annual event.Some people have done this the whole 14 years it's been going on.
Pain Freak riding a Surly Turner from The 909
- Trail UpdateDear God!-This place is amazing! Did it during the Fat tire festival. The price is worth it, no need to worry about shuttles and shit like that. Like the previous post said, a must for every mountain biker! I highly recommend it. Camp out at the Fat Tire place and they take care of the rest. Best time I have ever had! Mike, any comments?
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: alot Elevation change: alot
Henry a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a VT1 from Temple City
- Trail UpdateEPIC RIDE-Did this ride on 06-14-03. This should be must for everyone who loves to Mnt. Bike. From the top to the bottom is about 24 to 26 miles. and between 8500 to 9200 feet of elevation loss once is all said and done. There is soooo much that can be said about this trial but I wont bother. It's better if you go and check it for yerself. If you do plan on going spend the weekend over a camp fire. It is well worth it.
There is a link below.
Pictures will be posted soon.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 25 miles Elevation change: -9,000 ft
Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=20% Paved Path=1% Truck Trail=4%
TECUN UMAN a 33 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Pumpkin colour bike from LOS ANGELIS URL: Cannel Meadow from top to bottom.
- Trail UpdateCannell Meadow Trail-Remember when you were a kid how your favorite rollercoaster ride was over all too soon?Well,this is the never ending rollercoaster,8 miles long!Did our own shuttle to sherman peak(next time I will use the service)it was cold and blustery at the top.We started on the singletrack trail(we didnt drive 2.5 hours to ride fireroad described in other posts).Did a little descending followed bye a good climb that got our temperatures warming up.There were snow and ice patches,all rideable and the descent into big meadow was pure excitement,rocks,trees,gully crossing,berms all the fun stuff.In big meadow the trail flattened out for a while and we had to search around to keep on it.We then started a good climb out of the meadow and the trail was pretty much unrideable due to loose dirt and debris.I dont think the trail has had much traffic to pack it down due to the fires earlier this summer.Made it to the top and it became ridable again and we did some more climbing,all pine forrest mountain singletrack.Went through cannell meadow which was beautiful with some cool rock formations on the back end.Hit some more fun technical sections,mainly sharp turns with rocks and big stones,nothing too knarly.Did some more climbing and dropped down alittle bit following a stream gorge then went up and did some more climbing,finaly making it to the plunge.We were all a little tired due to the cold and oh yea it snowwed too!The plunge was everything and more than I had read about,I think since it hasnt had much use it was a little more difficult then usual because there were absolutely no sections where you could take it easy.There were powdery rutted sections,rocks,turns that came up fast and near the end some tricky switchbacks with rocky entrance sections.This was the most fun and action packed ride I have ever done and being able to do it in the seirras made it even sweeter.I cant wait to do it again,that last 8 miles took 1 hr and boy was it fun.Truly epic!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: miles 28 Elevation change:
Singletrack=95% Dirt Road=5%
007 a top secret year old Die-hard Enthusiast from so-cal
- Trail UpdateCannell Meadow, 7-15-01-We rode the Cannell Meadow Trail without doing the extra credit ride to the summit of Sherman Peak. We wanted to, but on account of a late start (~11:30) we decided to just go right down the trail. Although we didn't see any snow along the trail, it was pretty cool at 9,150' Sherman Pass.
The trail starts off downhill with some motorcycle whoop-de-do's and sandy spots, but before long climbing ensues. It's up and down to Mosquito Meadows and then some steep climbing to a pass at about 9,400' near the 4 mile mark. From the pass, the trail drops some 1,600' through forest, meadow and stream. The top part is mostly buff forest singletrack that passes by all too fast. It gets progressively more technical as the trail grows rockier, but it's a "fast technical" that is an absolute blast to rip through. Make sure you have good tire pressure or you're sure to pinch flat through here.
At about 9 miles you reach Big Meadow and fire-road. The route follows the fireroad on the west side of Big Meadow for about a mile before singletrack starts again on the left (it's sign-posted). The trail is mostly flat and a little sandy here. Shortly, you'll come to an equestrian staging area. Bear right to find the trail again. You'll cross a meadow and come to fireroad and a youth camping area on the other side. Follow the fireroad up through the gate and go right (uphill) on the fireroad for about 2 miles. You may see a steep, sandy singletrack paralleling the road on your left. It's the Cannell Trail, which we lost down at the youth camp, but we thought it was just fine to climb on the road. When the road turns downhill, you can jump on the sandy singletrack or just ride down the road for about 1/2 mile. The singletrack crosses the road and you want to get on it going up to the right. It's steep in places with some very tough rocks. You top out at about 8,400' before dropping 800' over the next 1.5 miles on nice rocky, technical singletrack into Cannell Meadow.
The next 3 miles are mostly flat as you cross in and out of Cannell Meadow and the forest that's alongside it.
At the end of Cannell Meadow, the canyon closes in a little making the trail a little more challenging. Then you're at Pine flat and the top of "The Plunge". The biggest view you've had for the whole ride, other than from Sherman Pass, was looking across Big Meadow, but as you round a turn in the trail, you have an excellent vista of Lake Isabella and beyond, 4,000' below you.
The Plunge is about 10 miles long and was quite different than what I expected - it was mostly buff decomposed granite with banked turns with only a few technical areas as opposed to the rocky drop into Cannell Meadow earlier. But it was ear-to-ear grinning fun to bomb. The lower section had some loose rocks in the trail and some switchbacks but it was still very fast. Near the bottom, you come to a fireroad that bears left and up to a gate. We tried going right here but soon lost trail and had to back-track to the gate and over.
All told, we covered 26.7 miles in about 4.5 hours, went up 2,290 feet and down over 8,300 feet. Sweet, epic, awesome, quintessential, classic - one of the best rides ever. The only tough thing about it is coordinating the long shuttle from/to Sherman Pass.
Ride distance: 26 miles Elevation change: +2290 / -8300
Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=15% Truck Trail=10%
Lorax a 38 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Truth from Corona del Mar URL: Cannell Meadow Trail pictures
- Trail UpdateET-Rode 6-12-99, started with 2.5mi/900ft spur to top of Sherman Pk. (this was an hour added to total ride) Then started down Cannel trail, first 7-8 miles had a lot of snow crossing's, and some very technical rocky sections, also a lot of soft sandy areas. Some of the large snow areas we had to hike-a-bike across. Next 8 miles is in beautful stream filled pine forrest & meadows, this first half has few hundred feet up and down sections that are not too tough. Pass "Big Meadow" on fire-road for few miles (mile 22'ish), down 500 feet, then back up 1000' on same fire-road. Back on single track again down into Cannel meadow (another technical rocky section, we got one pinch-flat in this area) through this last meadow on fire road again for 2 miles or so, then turn corner & view the lake 4000' below! This is the "plunge" & what a ride! Sections of technical rock, hard pack, soft dirt, high speed banking areas, you should stop every once in a while to enjoy the view & let rims/pads cool down. Total ride time = 8 hrs. (adding back-track for lost items, flat tires & few "oops" spills, & lunch) Total distance 32mi. Drive to start/summit is an hour and paying one of the local outfit's to shuttle you to top saves 2 hour driving (to retrive your own car/truck at top when done with ride)... "EPIC" mountain bike ride!
Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=20% Truck Trail=10%
- Trail UpdateCannel Meadow-The trail is definitely not for beginners or the weak. This trail is probably one of the most enjoyed trails around the area. It is very difficult at some points, rocky, sandy, creek crossings, fire roads and a lot of single track. Length is approximately 25-30 miles. The best highlight is probably being at the summit of Sherman Pass Road. From here you can look north and see Mount Whitney and other major mountain tops. You are in the mountains and start at approximately 9,400 feet and descend to approximately 4,500 feet. Don't let this fool you, there is approximately 1,000 feet of climbing. If you enjoy being in the mountains and riding your bike and are in the area, this is the trail!