Here the greener, mixed conifer forests of the west side begin to yield to drier east side pine forests. This popular area provides the earliest access in the spring to the Golden Trout Wilderness and the only access to the “Forks” Run of the North Fork of the Kern, a world renowned series of class IV and class V rapids
NOTICE: In light of rapid developments related to COVID-19, please contact individual establishments to determine their current status.
George Bush Tree and Freeman Creek Trail
There are two main accesses to this fabulous grove which is 4,192-acres. The Freeman Creek Trail meanders through the Freeman Creek Grove of Giant Sequoias from 7,100 feet at its western edge, down to the eastern edge of the grove in Lloyd Meadows at 5,200 feet. Mountain bikes are still allowed on all the designated trails in the monument so while this is a short trail (around four miles one direction) it is worth it to go hiking, riding horses, or bicycles amongst these truly unique giants. There are many options in the area to do more than just hike this trail.
This is the eastern-most grove of Sequoias. There are several large sequoias to see in this grove. Foremost among these is the President George H.W. Bush Tree.
Forks of the Kern Trail
The Fork of the Kerns Trail leaves from Forks of the Kern Trailhead in Lloyd Meadow. The trail drops down to the Kern River immediately out of the trailhead, crossing the Little Kern River. There is no bridge crossing the Little Kern, and extreme caution should be used. Crossing should not be attempted during spring snow run-off. The trail travels on the west bank of the Kern River for several miles to Kern Flat (a large meadow near the river), then crosses the Big Kern River on a bridge 1.5 miles above the Kern Flat. The trail continues to the Cannell Meadow District of the Sequoia National Forest. Campsites and fishing are available from the Little Kern Crossing to the Big Kern Bridge.
Photo: Freeman Creek Trail – R Tree
Jerkey Meadow Trail starts at Pyles Boys Camp, then leaves from Lloyd Meadow near the end of road 22S82 at the Jerkey Meadow Trailhead. Travels mostly north and south. Rises quickly out of Lloyd Meadow to Jerkey Meadow, then down to Fish Creek, to Grey Meadow Ranger Station, and on to intersect with the Clicks Creek Trail, then continues to Mountaineer Trail. Offers scenic views, meadows, and open forest areas. Trail is 5 miles to Grey Meadow. Fishing and water are scarce on this trail.