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Kern River via Coyote Pass TR

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Kern River via Coyote Pass TR

Postby Nozmo King » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:22 pm

A buddy & I backpacked to the Kern River via Coyote Pass during the 1st week in September. Day One, we went over Farewell Gap & camped at “Windy Flat,” the unofficial horsepacker campsite on the south side of the Little Kern. Day Two, we headed for Coyote Pass. The toughest part of the trail to follow is right there in Farewell Gap Canyon. The trail is narrow, rocky, washed-out in spots, & at times somewhat hard to find. Once you’re around the bend, though, it’s easy to follow. We camped by the beautiful little stream at the saddle, just on the west side of the Pass. The rock formations on top of Coyote Pass are very cool, & there’s a nice sense of solitude up there.

Days 3 & 4 were spent on the Kern, which was awesome, as usual. The fishing was excellent once again.

Day 5, we hiked up Rattlesnake & took the Willow Creek trail into Big Arroyo. The plateau above Big Arroyo is incredibly peaceful, & camping in Big Arroyo is tremendous. Maybe not the most scenic, but it has a real feeling of wilderness.

Day 6, we hiked into Lost Canyon & enjoyed a spectacular light display as thunderstorms hit the Sierra Crest to the east. The only downside was the trampling that beautiful, delicate meadow took from horses. There were hoof prints & horse droppings everywhere, even in the stream itself. I suspect they were from horses brought in by the Park Service for trail maintenance. I e-mailed the NPS but didn’t hear back. It would be more work, but IMO, they ought to keep the horses out of that alpine meadow. Lost Canyon is one of my favorite places in all the Sierra.

Day 7, we hiked out via Sawtooth Pass. The descent was steep & sandy – I guess it’s better going down than up, although I’ve done both, several times. As we were loading our gear into my truck, thunderstorms were rolling in. Great ending to another great trip in my favorite backpacking destination in the Sierras.



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Re: Kern River via Coyote Pass TR

Postby maverick » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:56 pm

Thanks Nozmo King for the TR! Any pic's of the thunderstorm by any chance or any part
of your trip?
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Re: Kern River via Coyote Pass TR

Postby richlong8 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:11 am

Good to hear that the trail is in good shape once you get over Farewell Gap. The last info I saw, people were saying the trail was very overgrown, and hard to follow from the little Kern drainage east to Coyote. I like the Kern in that area, and the fishing, going downstream and north. I have caught good size Kern River rainbows around Rattlesnake Creek especially. My favorite campsite is 200 yards downstream of the intersection of the Coyote Pass trail and Kern river trail.
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