Mountain Bike Rides in the Kern River Valley and Southern Sierra Bull Run Creek & Smelter Trails


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A variety of historic mining trails near Bull Run Creek out of Kernville.

technical trail on Bull Run
Strong technical skills are useful on
some of the Bull Run use trails.

Black Diamond

Double Black

Various Use Trails
4+ Miles.

200-400 feet of climbing.
200-400 feet of drop.

Out 'n' Back and Loops.

Update! Fall 2016: As a precaution to this summer's Cedar Fire, the USFS bulldozed the first few miles of Whiskey Flat Tr to make a fire break. Its pretty soft right now. They are currently working on restoring the trail.

2014 UPDATE! Only take the Whiskey Flat Trail to access the Bull Run Creek and trails. The old road that leads through private property is NOT a public easement anymore. It was vacated in 2013 in a public process. Please be respectful of private land by only using the official Whiskey Flat Trail to pass through the property.


On The Trail

The Bull Run Creek area has a deep history of mining. Many of the roads and trails left behind, are now often used by hikers, joggers, bikers and dog walkers.

The old Bull Run Crossing
Crossing Bull Run Creek at Whiskey Flat Tr.

One of the main trails (old road, but turns to singletrack) ascends from the Whiskey Flat Trailhead to some pools along Bull Run Creek, and to the remains of an old Smelter (where the gold nuggets were treated). The remains of rock shelters, from a dense population of miners and workers, are scattered all over the area.

The trail is often rocky, but is a nice gradual slope for riding. Several other offshoot trails are scattered about on both sides of the creek providing loop options. Everything from extreme technical boulder-strewn "trails" to sections of smoother singletrack suitable for beginners exists here.

There are 2 unofficial creek crossings; one on the Whiskey Flat Trail, and one about a half mile up the creek.

The area both burned and flooded in 2010, but it almost seems to have made the trails even more popular.

Elevation Profile for a ride to the Smelter

Elevation Profile


The lower Whiskey Flat Trailhead is the access point. Its located 2 miles north of Kernville at the end of Burlando Road.

Secret Advice for Cool People

Go explore! Bull Run Creek is magical and provides endless of adventure for those looking for it.

cooling off

Dont Get Lost!
Kernville Adventure Map

This trail and optional routes are depicted on the local adventure map:

Buy Locally

Map Details