Little Kern Lake

Johnsondale, California

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An out-and-back backpack beginning on the historic Jordan Trail, then following the Wild and Scenic Kern River to visit an unusual pair of lakes. Like so many features of the Golden Trout Wilderness, Kern Lake and Little Kern Lake are anomalies, quiet ponds tucked into the gorge of an otherwise swiftly flowing river. While most of the lakes in the Sierra Nevada were gouged out by glaciers between several million and perhaps 20,000 years ago, these two came into being when a nineteenth-century landslide dammed up a section of the Kern River.

Little Kern Lake Professional Review and Guide

"An out-and-back backpack beginning on the historic Jordan Trail, then following the Wild and Scenic Kern River to visit an unusual pair of lakes. Like so many features of the Golden Trout Wilderness, Kern Lake and Little Kern Lake are anomalies, quiet ponds tucked into the gorge of an otherwise swiftly flowing river. While most of the lakes in the Sierra Nevada were gouged out by glaciers between several million and perhaps 20,000 years ago, these two came into being when a nineteenth-century landslide dammed up a section of the Kern River."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Johnsondale
Distance: 34.4
Elevation Gain: 5,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: June through October
Trailhead Elevation: 7,900 feet
Top Elevation: 7,900 feet
Local Contacts: Golden Trout Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Camp Nelson, Hockett Peak, Kern Lake

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