Mountain Bike Rides in the Kern River Valley and Southern Sierra Chico Flat Rocks


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Very convenient rock climbing and bouldering right off the road.

Chico Flat on the corner slabTop Roping across from Chico Flat.

  • Top Rope, Trad Climbing, Bouldering
  • 5.7 to 5.12
  • Single pitches/boulders up to 5-70 feet.
  • Approach: climb from your car
  • When: Fall/Winter/Spring
  • Elevation: 3000 feet
  • Where: Across from Chico Flat River Access
  • Next to New Directions & Kern Slab
  • Land: Sequoia National Forest
  • Where: 5.5 miles north of Kernville
  • Map: Kern River Sierra Outdoor Rec Map


Rock Climbing at Chico Flat

Chico Flat climbing area
Just after passing New Directions, you see the Chico Flat Rocks to the north.


If you want convenience or a quick evening climb, the Chico Flat Rocks make a fun option.

It's at the northern end of the "Miracle Mile of Kernville Climbing", which extends through New Directions and the Kernville Slabs (Kernville Rock).

Explore the climbing options, then take a dip in the Kern River after! Climb here all Fall, Winter, and Spring - or early morning or late evening in the summer. Free camping is just across the street.

How to find it

The climbing and bouldering area is is north of Kernville just above the Kern River. From Kern River Brewing Co, drive north 5.5+ miles on Hwy 99/Sierra Way. The signed Chico Flat areas (free camping) are on the left, while the rock is on the right. There are boulders stretching from the New Directions area to north of Chico Flat around the corner.

Chico Flat Rocks Climbing Spot in Kernville


Southern Side of Chico Flat Rocks

Just to the north of the southern Chico Flat sign (just beyond the New Directions parking area) is an easily accessable trad route with one bolt and anchors; "Fly By", 5.5). A couple .75 camalots help protect the upper crack.

Just beyond this route is a small slab called Little Rock. This rock is on the Guide to "Kernville Rock Climbs".

Two quick Herb & Eve Laeger routes in the 5.10 range are bolted here.

A couple use trails lead to the rock from the New Directions parking area.

Little Rock. On the 5.11 crux of "Catch Me if you Can." "Fly By;" an easy warm-up Trad route.

Roadside Rocks to the north

Crank Start CrackCrank Start Crack (5.8) in the middle. A harder route to the left. Anchors on both.

Video of Crank Start Crack here.

Quick evening locals climb.

Right off the road.
Directly across from the northern Chico Flat camping/day-use parking area.

Chico Flat
"One Minute Walk Rock" 5.9, 70 Ft.

Bring 5 draws, 3 inch cam, & micro cam or two.

Its a 1 Minute Walk to this really fun sport route! Easier variation to the left, more difficult on the right. Up to the left, bolts enable a top rope on a difficult crack.

To the north
A few more protected routes just around the corner to the north.

Chico Flat Boulders
Bouldering opportunities all along this stretch.

Dont Get Lost!
Kernville Adventure Map

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Nearby Climbing