Hiker Symbol for the Kern River Valley Packsaddle Trail

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A moderate hike up a trail to Packsaddle Creek and a limestone cave.

Packsaddle Trail
A Spring day on Packsaddle Trail.
Packsaddle Cave Kernville
Stalactites in the Packsaddle Cave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE STATS
4.8 miles total.
1300 feet of climbing.

Up & back trail

The Packsaddle Trail

Cooling off in Packsaddle Creek.

Packsaddle Trail, 33E34, is a non-motorized multi-use trail that ascends the Kern Canyon to the Rincon Trail. 15 miles north of Kernville, the trailhead is near the upper Whiskey Flat Trailhead above Fairview / McNalley's on the upper Kern River.

A stark contrast from the trail awaits the hiker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After climbing up a dry slope of chaparral near the old Fairview mine and beyond a saddle, the trail parallels and crosses Packsaddle creek. Just before an intersection with Rincon Trail, take a trail that traverses left to the cave.

Packsaddle Cave Hike
The limestone peak above the cave.

Unfortunately, most of the stalactites and stalagmites were vandalized and removed from the cave. With those that are left, one can imagine what it once looked like. Bring a flashlight to check it out.

Outside the Packsaddle Cave.

Outside the cave, not far from the Rincon Trail.


Hiking Options

Packsaddle trail is sometimes hiked as a semi-loop with Rincon Trail. One option is to hike up the southern Rincon Trailhead past Salmon Creek, and come down Packsaddle cave. Another possibility is to hike the Rincon Trail from Sherman Pass Road near Brush Creek to Packsaddle Trail.

Trailhead & Directions

Dive 15 miles north of Kernville on the Mtn 99. There are 2 trail parking lots just north of McNally's Restaurant. The first is used for Whiskey Flat Trail, and the Packsaddle Trail parking is just north of the Fairview Campground on the west / river side. Park here, and cross Mtn 99 to the signed trailhead on the east side.

 

Dont Get Lost!
Kernville Adventure Map

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

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Map Details