Welcome to a comprehensive review of one of the most challenging yet exhilarating bike trails in Kernville, California. Aptly named the "Cannell Plunge," this point-to-point route promises an unforgettable adventure packed with steep descents, technical terrains, and awe-inspiring views. This 30-mile trail is categorized as 'Difficult,' making it ideal for seasoned mountain bikers.
For the uninitiated, Kernville is situated approximately 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield. Accessing the trail requires an hour-long shuttle ride up to Sherman Pass, which starts at 9,900 feet elevation. Many riders recommend Mountain River Adventures in Kernville for maps and shuttle services.
Starting off at Sherman Pass, the first 15 miles can feel like an eternal game of two steps forward, one step back. There's a lot of pedaling uphill even as you descend, which can be exhausting. However, the mountain vistas provide a rewarding backdrop for your efforts.
After overcoming challenging terrains filled with roots, rocks, and trees, riders reach the Big Meadow—a sharp contrast to the rugged landscapes faced before. It serves as a point to take a breather and enjoy the serene surroundings.
The crown jewel of the trail, the Plunge, begins after the meadows. Here, you'll experience a rapid descent dropping 5,000 feet in just 8 miles. With incredible views of Lake Isabella below, it's tempting to stop and soak it in, but the adrenaline rush is simply too good to pause for long.
Riders concur that the Cannell Plunge is not for the faint-hearted. Technical skills and strong stamina are prerequisites. This trail is often compared to top-ranking trails across the U.S., making it a bucket-list item for any serious mountain biker.
Overall, the Cannell Plunge offers a holistic mountain biking experience that tests your mettle while dazzling you with nature's beauty. It's more of an adventure than just a ride. So gear up, hydrate well, and get ready for a journey of a lifetime.