Mountain Bike Rides in the Kern River Valley and Southern Sierra Dutch Flat Trail (& Snake Pit)

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An initial climb leads to a rippin' downhill trail ending in Keyesville.

Dutch Flat Trail above Lake Isabella
Airplane views encompass the trail as you fly downhill.

Black Diamond

 

THE STATS
5.2 Miles.
500 feet of climbing.
2200 feet of drop.

One Way from Sawmill Road.

 

UPDATE: May 2017: The trail is being heavily ridden despite some bush overgrowth and deep ruts - making for some gnarly skill-testing sections. For many bikers its still quite fun, but it certainly needs work. Some re-routes and trail mantenance are planned for this year!

 

The Ride

Allison Diller on Dutch Flat Trail
Putting the suspension to the test in this rocky chute.

Dutch Flat Trail is one of the fastest and most fun downhill trails in the region, and an awesome addition to the Just Outstanding ride. The insane views and exhilarating singletrack make this ride a classic.

Getting there requires some effort, however.

After riding Just Outstanding to Sawmill Road, a fun route is to take the "Granite Trail," and then steeply ascend to "Wall Street Trail", and keep climbing up to Dutch Flat Trail. (For descriptions of how to get to Dutch Flat Trail, see below).

Once on Dutch Flat Trail, its time to fly.

Get your game on for a mix of fast, loose, rocky, rutted, sometimes technical, sometimes flowy-ish, and challenging downhill-race style riding. If its recently rained and you have a little downhiller in you, you'll be in heaven.

Carving up Dutch Flat Trail
Carving Dutch Flat as the trail descends into Keyesville.

 

Carving up Dutch Flat Trail
Carving Dutch Flat as the trail descends into Keyesville.

Near the bottom of the trail, veer left to stay on singletrack and ride through the ruthless Snake Pit Trail, longtime location of the Keyesville Classic downhill race.

[Note: A tough trail laced with granite features, veers off Dutch Flat to the left past the Snake Pit. Otherwise the ride continues down a wider atv route near bottom.]

Not far below, the ride ends at the main Keyesville staging area (near the restrooms), unless you continue riding out the singletrack that parallels Keyesville Road to hwy 178.

Snake Pit Crash Keyesville Race Snake Pit Keyesville Crash
When in the Snake Pit, dont do this..... Or, this!

Elevation Profile from Sawmill Road to bottom of Dutch Flat Trail.

Dutch Flat Trail from Sawmill Road

Elevation Profile from Just Outstanding Trail through Dutch Flat Trail.

JO to Dutch Flat Elevation Profile

Trailhead

In the Winter you can shuttle Dutch Flat Trail via Sawmill Road, which is 2+ miles south of Wofford Heights off Hwy 155. (see below).

For the full ride, follow the Directions to top of Just Outstanding. After riding Just Outstanding Trail, There are 2 options:

The most difficult is to to turn left and climb Wagy Road to the Wagy Ridge Trail, to add mileage on technical singletrack. Ride this 1/2 mile or so to the first split, and go right on the Rocky Gulch Trail. This will spit you out on Sawmill Road near some of the trails that climb up to Dutch Flat. (Go left for the "granite trail.")

The easiest Route from Just Outstanding is to turn right on Wagy Road and descend to Sawmill Road.

Near Sawmill Road, there are several unmarked trails and intersections in the area, so its smart to take a map or go with someone who knows the land.

Riding the "Granite Trail" en route to Dutch Flat.

1. One possible route ascends Borderline 4X4 Road (near the intersection of Waggy Ridge Road and Sawmill Road). In about 1/2 mile, a trail veers off the main route to the left. This trail is fairly bushy in places, but has a climbable pitch and makes its way to the higher-use Wall Street Trail, which follows the ridge. Go right on the unsigned Wall Street Trail and climb the ridge until you see a sign for Dutch Flat Trail to the left.

2. If you are worried about getting lost, another option is to stay on Borderline 4X4 Road all the way to the top of the ridge, and plan on hiking your bike up this steep rutted mess. Basically, it completely sucks. At the top of the ridge, there is a fence and a trail that heads left. Take this, its upper Dutch Flat Trail.

Granite Trail
Starting the climb up to Dutch Flat after crossing French Gulch, a granite wonderland.

3. A little farther down Sawmill, another trail ascends and merges with the previously mentioned singletrack before reaching Wall Street. This trail is across from Rocky Gulch Trail, and it has the least amount of climbing.

4. The most popular mountain biker route to Dutch Flat, "Granite Trail", has a few splits and variations which can be a little confusing to describe. This unmarked trail, which begins as a short dirt road, is off of Sawmill Road about .8 miles below the intersection with Waggy Ridge Road. This 1 Mile trail traverses around a knoll, and then drops through granite slabs (a couple variations here) down to French Gulch. Dont miss a sneaky righthand turn on a granite slab. The main trail will descend to the creek, but there is an excellent advanced granite slab route just beyond.

Climbing Wall Street Trail
Climbing Wall Street to Dutch Flat Trail.

After crossing the creek, the trail steeply ascends the hill side up to Wall Street Trail on the ridge. (This uphill section is mostly bikable for strong climbers with lighter bikes, or it is about a 5-10 minute hike-a-bike). Once on the ridge, turn right and keep pedalling .8 miles up until you see Dutch Flat Trail, which descends the other side of the ridge into Keyesville.

4. In the Winter you can ride Dutch Flat Trail by pedalling or driving up Sawmill Road, which is 2+ miles south of Wofford Heights off Hwy 155. Granite Trail is roughly 4 miles up, and Borderline 4X4 Road/Trails are about 5 miles up. Also see Wagy Ridge Trail for other ride variations.

The trails are far less sandy, and often in excellent condition in the off season.

Slaying the Dutch Flat Berm
Local ripper Scott Link slaying berms near the bottom of Dutch Flat Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dont Get Lost!
Kernville Adventure Map

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

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Map Details