Mountain Bike Rides in the Kern River Valley and Southern Sierra Bull Run Pass Trail Loop

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Brand new singletrack in the alluring Greenhorn Mountains.

Bull Run Pass Trail
Enjoying the revival of the old Bull Run Trail.

Blue/Black Rating

THE STATS

10.7 Mi with North Portuguese Trs.
1200 feet of climbing/drop.

25 miles combined with Portuguese Pass Trail from Greenhorn Summit.
3100+ Ft of climbing

*Loop.
*Cross Country Ride.
*Singletrack and forest roads.
*North of Portuguese Pass.
*Several ride variations possible.

UPDATE! Post Cedar Fire, Fall 2016: It looks like Portuguese North Trail survived the Cedar Fire! It sounds like The Bull Run Pass Trail could be ok too? It was near the border of the fire. These trails just opened for the first time in months. We have not actually been up there to verify; if anyone knows the condition, please let us know!

The Trails

Bull Run Trail Singletrack
2.4 miles of new Bull Run singletrack.

In the heart of the Greenhorns, 2.4 miles of new twisty singletrack augment the remote network of Portuguese Pass Trails.

Thanks to the USFS, Chris Horgan, and Stewards of the Sequoia volunteers, the 100 year old Bull Run Pass Trail has been revived. When connected with the now official northern Portuguese Pass Trails, the trail forms a nice loop with the forest roads.

This multi-use motorcycle-legal singletrack travels through the shade of cedar and pine trees, and then skirts several vibrant sun-lit meadows. The cool forest provides excellent summer riding at about 7500 feet of elevation, and the trails often receive more rain and thundershowers than in other areas.

Sitting between Portuguese Pass and the Tobias Trail, The Bull Run Basin Trail roughly parallels Upper Tobias Trail and is about 1.5 miles from the turnoff to Tobias Peak.

North Portuguse Pass Trail
North Portuguese Pass Trail; enroute to Bull Run Pass. (This trail is also used to ride out to Tobias Trail.)

Starting at Portuguese Pass

The ride described here contains a loop with almost 5 miles of singletrack, with the rest being on quiet dirt and asphalt forest roads.

Several variations and options exist for longer rides, including the addition of the southside Portuguese Pass Trail Loop for an excellent 25 mile ride.

From Portuguese Pass: Take the singletrack heading north from Portuguese Pass. The trail steadily climbs at first and then rolls up and down as it traverses through the hilly terrain. After a mile or so, a trail splits down to the right; ignore this and contour left. After reaching a high point and descending to a low point, turn right at about 2.2 miles. (The trail continues up to the unbikable Bull Run Peak). The trail will soon pop out on the dirt road 24S50. Go left on the road and ride 1.1 miles up to a saddle: Bull Run Pass.

Meadows on the Bull Run Trail
Bull Run Pass Trail.

The new trail drops off to the right, curving and carving through a shady forest on the edge of bright green meadows. Over the next 2.4 miles, it crosses one dirt road, and drops about 1,000 feet. Be prepared for 3 short steep climbs at the end of the trail, as the route avoids meadows and wetlands before it reaches the paved forest road 23S18 near Dry Meadow.

Turn right and pedal the secluded road back up to Portuguese Pass (or jump back on the Portuguese North trail on the way up).

Elevation Profile

Coming soon!


Ride Variations

The most obvious ride option, is to add on the traditional Portuguese Pass Trail (south side). Combining these two loops, will create a 25 mile ride with over 3,000 feet of climbing.

Bull Run Trail DH

Racing through the forest.

Bikers can park anywhere along Portuguese Pass Road, to shorten this double loop ride. A great option is to park where the Portuguese Pass singletrack meets the road, such as at 3.8 miles or 5.4 miles (just after fun downhill sections) from the Greenhorn Summit Sandshed.

Other Options

Ride to the serene Frog Meadow and do the upper Tobias Trail.

The turnoff to Frog Meadow is 3 miles past the turnoff to the Bull Run pass trail.

Another option is to ride up to Tobias Peak Lookout. The turnoff is another 1.5 miles beyond Bull Run Pass Trail, and adds another 650 feet of climbing on a dirt road.

Trailhead

From Wofford Heights, drive up the 155 to Greenhorn Summit (about 7 miles). Turn right on dirt road 24S15 and take this 7.1 miles to Portuguese Pass, or park along the way to extend the ride.


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