Kennedy Meadows

From the archives: June 2013 long weekend in the South Sierra Wilderness

There are two Kennedy meadows in the Sierra mountain range. One is in Sonora County, the other in Kern County.  We went to the one in Kern county, as the Kern area is one of our favorites.



Getting there: Take 9 Mile Canyon Rd in Pearsonville (last stop is a Shell station for gas and sammies) go west.

The drive up is windy and exposed in places. The meadow is a jump off point and resupply for hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is fun to see people on their way through. There is a campground north of the general store (center of the map) for those who want something more established. Dispersed camping is available south of the main campground along the Kern River.

Topo map captured on my Android phone with the Backcountry Navigator Pro app.

From the meadow other side trips or destinations are available like Monache meadows, Troy and Fish meadows (for ATV and bikes), or crossing Sherman Pass going west to the Trail of 100 Giants (a must see) Sequoia grove and the rest of the Kern River system.

We found a nice spot to make camp along the river.

I used the existing fire ring and made my own little additions like a chimney rock ( to keep smoke out of my face) and some pot rests and settled in for a simple evening meal.

A beaver kept me and the dogs company while I cooked. Seemed like the beaver was busy building up his dam nest.

A beaver kept me and the dogs company while I cooked. Seemed like the beaver was busy building up his dam nest.

The next morning Bullwinkle startled a rattlesnake in it’s nest and bolted back to camp while on the trail. Liz worried the whole time that he was lost. However we found him hiding under the truck where he knew he was safe. What a good boy.

We hit the trail and decided to take the PCT north to the first bridge crossing a few miles in and do some fishing. Here’s Liz all geared up for the trail. A good hat and a lightweight UPF shirt is ideal for these days. Exofficio is a go to for these items.

The trail follows the Kern River as best it can sometimes taking you up in the pines.

or go down to the water where you can cool off and relax a bit.

Dogs decided to take a break while I tried my hand at casting a fly rod.

Kennedy Meadows is a great place to escape the summertime crowds of Sequoia and Yosemite National parks. It’s a worthy destination for a weekend trip to easily accessible back country and rugged Sierra views.


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