Trips Home                                                         NRMBC Home Page

North Ranch Mountain Bikers trip to the Kernville Fat Tire Festival, October 22-24, 2004

Photos of 2004 rides and Activities

Presented by Mountain and River Adventure (MRA; you will find event information and registration forms on their page)

Updates to this page
October 27:
finished adding links to photos of the trip
October 25: started adding links to the photos/videos of the trip
October 5: added driving directions and ride times
September 19: added more photos for 2001 and 2002
September 9th: added trail descriptions and info about weather and clothing.

Tony splits the gap on the Cannell Trail

October 2004












Optional: Cannell from Sherman Pass

Alta Sierra
Meet at 8:00 am. Don't be late!

Kern Canyon
Meet at 7:15 am. Don't be late! 

Cannell Trail
Meet at 9:15 am. Don't be late!







Friday (Alta Sierra) and Sunday (Cannell Trail): Get your bike off your vehicle and onto the shuttle bus.
Saturday (Kern Canyon Trail): Caravan in your car to the trailhead so don't take your bike off your rack at the MRA campground.

Kernville Weather

Most of the time the weather is dry and warm, but it could also be snowing at the top of Cannell or Alta Sierra! Bring clothes for all possible weather conditions and have room in your pack to carry them. Plan to dress in layers, so you can remove items as you descend to warmer temperatures. Remember, it may be raining or snowing, so plan for lots of layers. It's a good idea to have a pair of long-fingered gloves handy, and perhaps even a pair of light ski gloves. Don't forget about a scarf and something to keep your ears warm.

Take a look at the photos from previous trips: 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Ride Descriptions

These are the rides we plan to do as a group, but they are for strong intermediates to advanced riders only. There are other rides for less experienced riders and you can find out about them on the MRA web page.

Thursday, October 21, 2004.
Cannell Trail from Sherman Pass

Advanced Ride: This is an optional ride for those who want an extra day of riding. This ride starts higher than the regular Cannell ride and adds 8 miles of single track to the beginning, joining the regular route at Big Meadow. Check out the maps and ride profile before deciding if you want to do this ride.

Length (miles):


Climb (feet):


Descent (feet):



Friday October 22, 2004. Alta Sierra Trail

Advanced or Strong Intermediate Ride: Alta Sierra. Check out the maps and ride profile. This trail is notable for singletracks through pine forests at the top and lots of fast downhill on fireroads. Because of the elevation, it can be cold at the top, so prepare to dress appropriately. This is a long ride, especially the ride on the highway back to town, so you should plan to have a car in town to drive you back to the MRA campground to pick up your vehicle. Otherwise you'll be riding an extra 3 miles on the highway.

Length (miles):

 22.8 to highway, plus on pavement 4.7 miles to town and 3.1 miles to the MRA campground

Climb (feet):

 3500 to highway, plus 350 to town, plus 300 to the MRA campgroung

Descent (feet):

 7600 to highway, plus 360 to town, plus 420 to the MRA campground

Meeting Time:

 8:00 am. Don't be late!


Saturday October 23, 2004. Kern Canyon Ride

Advanced or Strong Intermediate Ride: Kern Canyon Trail. Check out the maps and ride profile. This trail starts off on slightly sandy fireroads, but soon turns to singletracks through old and current grazing land. This is a true cross-country ride with a number of steep but short climbs and descents, plus a long steady climb followed by a long descent to the end. In some sections the trail is quite narrow with a steep dropoff on the left side. At the halfway point there is a watering station, but the MRA folks never provide enough water so you will only be able to stock up on it if you are one of the earlier ones to arrive there. In other words, plan to carry enough water from the beginning to get you through the whole ride! After the watering station, there is a long climb, and then the final long descent to the highway and the shuttle bus back to the beginning. This trail is not nearly as high as Cannell or Alta Sierra so you are less likely to need really cold weather clothing.

Length (miles):

  20 to 25, depending on route

Climb (feet):


Descent (feet):

 even more!

Meeting Time:

 7:15 am. Don't be late!


Sunday October 24, 2004: Cannell Trail

Advanced Ride: Cannell Trail. Check out the maps and ride profile. Many people consider this the ultimate ride at Kernville. It starts at the MRA campground with loading your bikes onto the trailer behind the shuttle bus. An hour and a half after the shuttle departs, you arrive at the starting point at nearly 8000' of elevation. The weather is somewhat undredictable in the mountains, so be prepared for anything on this ride. One year there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground! Another year there were snow flurries that turned to sleet and then drizzle as we descended. But usually it is sunny. From the trailhead, we climb just over a thousand feet (and you feel it at this elevation!), mostly on fireroad, but the last bit is on a singletrack. Then we start a fast and furious descent through a creek bed with lots of small broken rocks. If you only have V-brakes, be prepared to pull over a couple of times to rest your hands and wrists here. Next we get to the cabin at Cannell Meadow where we wait, usually for at least a half hour, for everyone to catch up. This is a good place for a snack and photos of your friends. From there it is a gentle ride through the meadow until we get to a rocky canyon that signals the transition to the Cannell Plunge. The Plunge is a steep (sort-of), loose, sandy, rutted trail that clings to the side of the cliff in many places, dropping several thousand feet to the valley floor. There is one nasty but very short and steep little climb about a third of the way down that you can expect to walk up. After that is another 3000 feet of descent to the highway and a short ride back to the MRA campground. Don't forget your camera because the pictures up there can be spectacular!

Length (miles):


Climb (feet):


Descent (feet):


Meeting Time:

 9:15 am. Don't be late!

Driving instructions to Kernville from Thousand Oaks

 Take I-5 north to Highway 99 north. Once in Bakersfield, take 178 east to Lake Isabella. As you approach Lake Isabella, take the second off-ramp, which reads "Highway 155-Kernville". Turn left at the stop sign and continue around Lake Isabella (about 10 miles). Upon entering Kernville, continue through town. As you go through town you'll see a park, a Mobil station, and "Chilly Willy's". Mountain and River Adventure is on the left side as you drive through town. To register, drive on to the Mountain and River Adventures Campground. Continue east on Kernville Rd from the MRA store a block or so to the T-junction at Sierra Way (Rt 521). Turn left and drive about 2.5 miles. The campground is on the left. Registration is open until 8:00 pm on Thursday night. For all rides, meet at the MRA campground at least a half hour before departure time to prepare your bike and ensure a space on the shuttle!

Possible places to stay

(This list was provided by MRA in 2001 or earlier and so may be out of date!)

Bed and Breakfasts

(760) area code

Whispering Pines


The Neill House


The Kern River Inn






Fallingwaters River Resort


Pine Cone Inn


Kern Lodge Motel


Mc Cambridge Lodge


Western Motel


River View Lodge


Kernville Inn


Sequoia Lodge




Private Campgrounds     


Mountain & River Retreat


River View


Camp James