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Old 11-15-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
JustKip OP
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Looking for n00b-friendly dirt roads near Kernville/Lake Isabela

Planning to be in the Kernville area Thanksgiving weekend
My friend will be riding a Tiger 800 "roadie" with street biased tires, and I prefer not to have her help me pick up my GS.
We'd like to take a long ride on some dirt roads east or south of Kernville for a few hours. We've got all day so it don't need to be right by town, but I don't know the area. Any ideas for desert or hill rides in the Lake Isabela area?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #2
BrokenDownXR
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You can take Mountain 99 all the way up to Johnsondale, it's a great ride. So much great scenery. Make sure to have breakfast at the Cracked Egg Cafe in town.

Also, there are some cool trails over in Cyrus Canyon, across from the airport.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
pcvance
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There's plenty of big bike dirt roads up there, Saddle springs road up to the Piutes, Rancheria and many more. Get a map and explore.....That's how I always find the good stuff!
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
browneye
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There are good roads/routes in the Johnsondale area for sure. We were just up there a few weeks ago and it's very scenic.

One of my favs is Big Meadow, further on is Cannell Meadow. Will give you a 4-6 hour run with good roads and some smooth dirt roads the last few dozen miles.

Head up Sherman pass and make the first right turn, leads you out to Horse Meadow Campground, great place for a lunch stop, then keep going out to Big Meadow, largest meadow in the Sierras, pretty stunning. Good place to turn back, but if you want more keep going out to Cannell meadow and stop at the ranger cabin, nice place to visit.

Weather is a factor at these elevations as everything is 6000' and up, but looks to be sunny and clear so you shouldn't have any issues next weekend.

Let us know how it goes.

A few pix from up there...

Big Meadow





Cannell Cabin




Another good route is going up to Windy Pass, over and down into Camp Nelson. None of the roads are difficult. Forested and very scenic. Turn west onto 21S94 off Wester Divide Road just north of Johnsondale, follow it all the way back to the 190 in Camp Nelson. Come back on the hiway. Another 4-6 hour route with plenty of good dirt roads.

At Windy Gap last month, notice the bikes...



Will be pretty chilly at the higher elevations so bring your warm gear.
Can send tracks for either if you're interested.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:07 AM   #5
browneye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcvance View Post
There's plenty of big bike dirt roads up there, Saddle springs road up to the Piutes, Rancheria and many more. Get a map and explore.....That's how I always find the good stuff!
Perry, we did the Cannell Cabin when we met you up in Kennedy Meadows in July. The mistake I made was deciding to take singletrack with the dualsport pigs back up to Sherman Pass from Big Meadow. I thought gee, how hard can a black-diamond be? I've been riding all those trails up there for years on litebikes. Stupid me and oh shit, did we have a time...thought I was gonna have a heart attack, had to keep stopping to catch my breath. Had Jackson (Bitwrench) with us on his big Husky, but my kid was on his lightweight so he had no trouble. Jackson I did though...

Here's a laugh






BTW, yes, Rancheria Road is excellent. We road it back from Wofford Heights to Bakersfield. Neat route. Our OP could head up the hill out of Wofford Heights, catch Rancheria, ride to Bakersfield, and then back up the 178 to Kernville. Nice route.
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browneye screwed with this post 11-16-2012 at 08:17 AM
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
JustKip OP
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Excellent feedback, Thanks Guys!
There's enough listed for more days than we have. Was initially thinking of heading east into the desert. I didn't realize how close Big Meadow was - been there from the north many years ago.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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Talked to a friend that just rode Kelso Valley Rd.

He says it is really great this time a year.
Depending on starting point. You could easily make a great loop ride. If you start from Weldon (east of Isabella) head south on Kelso Valley rd. This is paved for a while but very tight and curvy.Turns into great quality dirt rd. You will end up with several choices. Butterbredt canyon Rd. Or Dove springs Rd.
If you take Dove Springs you will come out on the north end or Red Rock Canyon. Take a while sight seeing. Even just riding Hwy 14 south through it. You could take 14 north to 178 and back to Isabella. Or take 14 south toward Mojave, Take 58 west to the Calient/Bodfish Rd. take it North and end up back in Isabella.
Another would be Hwy 155 up to Greenhorn summit. Rancheria North through Tobias Creek and then on to Johnsondale and back to Isabella.
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