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Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 5:38 pm
by MattOnAMountain
Hey all. One of my planned trips for this summer is to spend a number of days along the Kern River doing an A -> B from Forks of the Kern up to around Shepherd Pass. I've done several pieces of this before but there's a section north of Hockett Peak which doesn't show a trail. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth attempting cross country or if we'd need to head up to Flatiron / Trout Meadows and rejoin the Kern north of Hole In the Ground. Anyone have any experience with that section?

Map is attached and a Caltopo of the plan can be found at https://caltopo.com/m/2HF1.

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:30 am
by japhy0508
I've not done this but am very interested in hearing if you get any responses.....I've wondered the very same thing.

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:36 am
by c9h13no3
All you gotta do is cross a river through a section of the map called "The Hazards". Piece of cake!

I assume the easiest way is probably just wading/floating down the river in late season/low flow conditions. But the Kern river is way out of my jurisdiction, so find some other advice before you assume mine is any good.

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:53 pm
by TehipiteTom
c9h13no3 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:36 am
All you gotta do is cross a river through a section of the map called "The Hazards". Piece of cake!
Well, it's not like it's a high water year or anything....
;)

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:07 pm
by japhy0508
Harhar....high water it is. Any bets on when it'll be fishable above the Kern Lakes?

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:50 pm
by gtw_smooth_ambler
I was at hole-in-the-ground last August in a very low water year. The Kern did not seem safely wade-able more than a few hundred yards south of there. In another low year with some canyoneering gear you might make a go of it. But the fact that there isn't a trail in the most obvious place for it should be your first clue that this will be no picnic.

Additionally, this sure isn't the year to find out.

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:41 pm
by gary c.
I know a couple of guys that made it through that canyon late summer of a dry year. It was really wasn't wad-able. They had to scramble over a lot of rocks and in some places they had to put everything in plastic bags in the packs on top of their head and it still didn't keep everything dry. It was part of a personal "quest" to be able to hike the entire length of the Kern from headwaters to lake Isabella. Took him several trips but he did it. I thought that he had posted a report on HST but I could be wrong. His real name is Matt but I don't remember his forum name. Haven't talked to him or seen a post from him on any of the forums for a long time.

Re: Kern River Hells Hole To Hole In the Ground feasible?

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:52 am
by MattOnAMountain
Thanks all! We're looking for scrambling over the canyons walls vs trying to wade the hazards. The high river levels ruled this trip out for this spring but we're eyeing maybe late in the season.