Hiker Symbol for the Kern River ValleyBull Run Creek


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Find hidden waterfalls or cool off in one of the many pools!

Bull Run Creek in Kernville


  • Miles: 1-5+ miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 50-800 ft
  • Hike: Up & back
  • Tread: Trail/Old county road
  • Elevation: 2700+ ft
  • Land: Sequoia National Forest & Private Land
  • Access: Burlando Rd at Whiskey Flat Trail
  • Town: Kernville
  • Season: Year-round
  • Map: Kern River Sierra Outdoor Rec Map
  • NOTE: Despite years of heavy public use, many of these trails are on private land. The main route (old road) up to the pools/smelter apparently is a public county easement. Show Respect!

Photo: A series of pools and a hidden 20 foot waterfall on Bull Run Creek.

Bull Run Waterfall
Lookout for high water in some years! This pool and series of waterfalls is below the old trail, roughly 3 miles up depending on the route taken.

Bull Run Creek Hike

From its headwaters near Black Mountain and Sunday Peak, Bull Run Creek flows down through the Sequoia National Forest into the Kern River, just above Kernville.

This is the locals backyard playground; every day the Whiskey Flat Trailhead provides all sorts of entertainment for outdoor enthusiasts.

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

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.

cooling off
Summer fun.

Much of this area is on private land; please respect the rights of the land owners.

The Whiskey Flat Trail passes through private land and crosses Bull Run Creek about a mile from the trailhead.

Near the trailhead there is also a trail that splits to the left and merges into the main route, the old county road. This trail ascends to some nice pools along Bull Run Creek, and beyond 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.

One can continue exploring up the creek and find amazing pools and several waterfalls the entire way. One hidden waterfall is over 20 feet tall!

The route continues as an old brushy trail that ascends up and over the hill above the smelter and then follows the creek for another mile or so. It ends near a double waterfall and a huge swimming hole (on USFS land).

Bull Run Creek Pools
Bull Run Creek Pool
Bull Run Creek Waterfalls
Don't Get Lost!
Kernville Adventure Map

This area and trails are depicted on the Kern River Sierra Map, 6th ed.


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Map Details

Trailhead & Directions

Bull Run Creek is accessed from the lower Whiskey Flat Trailhead. It is located 2 miles north of Kernville at the end of Burlando Road.

Nearby Trails & Activities

Bull Run Creek Waterfall  
Bull Run Creek: 20 foot waterfall at high flows.

Current Webcam Views

Baker Point Webcam looking south and east to Kernville and surrounding areas.