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Whiskey Flat Trail

Hiking Trail or Trailhead
Spring on the Whiskey Flat Trail – Cynthia Allred

Whiskey Flat Trail (32E35) in the southern Sierra Nevada is a local favorite for the young and old. Starting at the north end of Burlando Road in Kernville, and ending at the Fairview footbridge, the full length of the trail is 14.5 miles, running parallel to the Kern River. The first few miles of the trail at either end are in good shape for a moderate hike. The middle section gets a lot less traffic and it is easy to lose site of the trail in one section. Also, please note that our infamous Sierra winter storms have altered some sections in the middle of the trail, so be prepared for rugged conditions caused by runoff.

Whiskey Flat Trail was named after the town of Whiskey Flat the original name of Kernville. The town of Whiskey Flat was located on the bottom of what is now Isabella Lake, a dammed portion of the Kern River; construction was completed by the Army Corp of Engineers in 1953.

Along the trail are gradual elevation changes, with numerous short steep stretches in and out of the side drainages to the Kern River. The area abounds with mixed chaparral bush with an occasional gray pine and oak trees. In the spring months the area flourishes with beautiful wildflower fields.

There are numerous great spots along the river for fishing, sandy beaches for a quiet picnic and swimming holes. Short day hikes are recommended during the summer months starting at either trail head. The trail provides little shade, so be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen and hat.

One of the best ways to experience this trail is during the Run 4-Away 2nd Annual Burger Run on Saturday, November 12, 20011

Eco-Friendly Notes

The trail is surrounded by private property, please be respectful.

Please remember to pack out what you pack in.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are permitted on the Whiskey Flat Trail. They must be under the control of the owner so as not to disturb the wildlife or other hikers.

Trail Distance

14.5 miles

Vertical Gain or Loss

Low elevation 2,800 and high elevation 3,600

Nearby Places