Northeast of Bakersfield and north of Kernville in the Sequoia National Forest, the Cannell Meadow Ranger District has an extensive ATV/OHV trail network. There are about 18 miles open to ATV/4WD driving.
The Kern River borders the area on the west. The terrain varies from high rocky trails near Sherman Peak (elevation 9,909 feet) to the open country of Monache Meadow (elevation 8,000 feet), the largest complex of meadowlands in the High Sierras. Challenging rocky side hill type trails can be found in the Rattlesnake and Bonita Creek drainages. The program provides 120 miles of unpaved roads, 154 miles of maintained trail system, over 10,000 acres of suitable open area. The OHV system on the Cannell Meadow provides a variety of riding opportunities, from relatively easy to routes that challenge even the most experienced off-roaders.
The Troy Meadow and Fish Creek Campgrounds provide centralized access to most of the trails found on the Kern Plateau. These campgrounds (elevation 7,800 ft.) are located approximately 54 miles northeast of Kernville via Mtn. 99 and Sherman Pass Road (22S05), or 33 miles west of Hwy. 395 via Nine-Mile Canyon Road (J41), and are open from June to November, depending on weather conditions.
There are two major routes open to ATV/4WD driving: Monache 4WD Trail and Sherman Pass / North Meadows Jeep Trail.
The Monache 4WD Trail (#34E88) starts about 6 miles north of the Blackrock Ranger Station near Powell Meadow. This easy trail runs northeast around to the backside of Monache Mountain. There are several creek crossings. It is roughly 10 miles one-way. Return via the same route.
The Sherman Pass / North Meadows Jeep Trail are two trails that intersect. Both start off Sherman Pass Road about 4 miles east of Rincon Camp. The North Meadow Jeep Trail provides access to Sherman Peak before intersecting with the Sherman Pass Jeep Trail. The Sherman Pass Jeep Trail intersects with the North Meadows Jeep Trail and then connects with the Sherman Pass Jeep Trail Extension which runs east towards Bonita Meadows.
Note: As of September 2007, ATV riding is only permitted on designated Forest Service roads. To obtain a map of designated roads, contact the Forest Service HQ at (559) 784-1500.
Overall, Cannell Meadow / Kern Plateau - EAST is the 23rd most popular ATV riding trail of all 106 ATV trails in California.