Whiskey Flat Trail

Hike Whiskey Flat Trail

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Trail Type: Out & Back

Full: 29 Miles Round Trip

Short: 2 Miles Round Trip to Bull Rune Creek

Elevation Gain: 1,177 ft



Whiskey Flat Trail is named after the town of Whiskey Flat which was the original name of Kernville.

This trail is a local favorite trail for hiking and mountain biking. Leashed dogs are allowed. You’ll park at the end of Burlando Road in the designated parking area.  The trail is well-marked as you make your way through California’s native landscape.

The trail offers a scenic escape into nature starting in Kernville and ending 15 Miles north at the Fairview footbridge to the famous Johnny McNally’s Lodge.  Nestled within the Sequoia National Forest, this trail provides beautiful scenery from rock formations, mountains, and of course the Kern River, making it perfect for hikers of all skill levels.


Trail Description:

About ½ Mile into the hike you’ll come across Bull Run Creek. If you just want an easy half-mile stroll, this is a good spot to turn around and head back. But if you would like to continue, cross over the creek using the stone bridge. Along the trail are gradual elevation changes. There are endless photo ops along the way. The middle section of the trail gets fewer hikers so bring a map if you plan on hiking through. Winter storms have altered some sections in the middle of the trail, so be prepared for rugged conditions.

Remember to practice “Leave No Trace” principles.  Help preserve the beauty of the trail by packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, & respecting wildlife and vegetation.

At the end of the trail, you come upon Fairview Footbridge which spans across the Kern River to Johnny McNally’s Fairview Lodge. Treat yourself to a cold drink or their highly recommended hamburgers and shakes at the Burger Stand. Enjoy a cocktail and a steak at the Lodge before heading back to Kernville. Hours change seasonally.


Seasonal Info:

In the early Spring, the area flourishes with beautiful native flora such as California poppies and lupine.

In the hotter months, it’s best to do short day hikes starting at either the north or south trailhead. Early morning is the best time to hike in the summer.  There is little shade along the trail so bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

If you are hiking in the Fall, you’ll be treated to beautiful golden trees along the river as the leaves change.

Winter can be a beautiful season to hike with snowcapped mountains surrounding the area at times, but check the weather forecast so you can dress according to the weather.


Some Trail Tips:

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Binoculars can enhance your wildlife viewing experience.

With its diverse landscapes and stunning vistas, Whiskey Flats Trail offers endless opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture the natural beauty of the region. Don’t forget your camera!

Please respect all private property signs.

Avoid hiking alone, especially in remote areas.


Getting There:

From Kernville town center, head North on Burlando Road for 2 miles. The road ends at a dirt parking lot with free parking. Look for the trailhead sign.




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