Greenhorn Mountains Description

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Greenhorn Mountains

If you are looking for a quiet campground at a higher elevation to escape the heat of summer, the Greenhorn Mountains are a convenient location to Bakersfield. Facilities are operated on a first-come, first-served basis offering limited services without a fee. Camping is limited to 14 days in any 30-day period throughout the Sequoia National Forest.

Western Divide Highway map

Oak Flat Lookout. This historic lookout overlooks the Kern River and is available for overnight rental by reservation at or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Located at an elevation of 4,900 feet the lookout was constructed in 1934 and retired from duty in 1984. With a 360 degree view of the surrounding oak woodlands, the scenic lower Kern River and the rugged Greenhorn Mountains, the lookout provides great opportunities to view wildlife. The springtime wildflower displays can be spectacular March through early May.

Located 25 miles east of Bakersfield, take Highway 178 to Rancheria Road. Proceed 15 miles north to road FS 27S20. Take this unimproved gravel road .7 miles to the lookout. Expect a rustic experience without water or electricity. Amenities include a propane kitchen range, vault toilet, sink, and two twin beds.

Rancheria Road. Road 25S15 travels south from Portuguese Pass, over Greenhorn Summit at the intersection of Highway 155, and past Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows Ski Resort (the only downhill skiing offered in the Sequoia National Forest). The road continues across the ridge providing access to popular off highway vehicle routes, favorite horse back riding trails, and remote camping opportunities including Evans Flat. The road eventually exits the National Forest and connects to Highway 178 at the base of the Kern River Canyon.

Fire Prevention. Fire danger is very high during the summer months. Please help by making sure all campfires are extinguished with water before you leave. Carry a shovel and never leave a campfire unattended. Smoke only in cleared areas and use the ashtray in your car. Campfire permits may be obtained from the Kern River District Offices in Lake Isabella or Kernville, the BLM office in Bakersfield, or the Campfire Permit page on this website.

Campgrounds Elevation Sites Season Max. Trailer Potable Water
Alder Creek 3900 12 May-Oct 20’ No
Cedar Creek 4800 10 All Year Unsuitable No
Evans Flat 5800 21 May-Oct 20’ No
Trails Trail # Elevation Miles Remarks
Badger Gap 31E76 2200-4300 10.2 Bicycles permitted
Bull Run 32E39 4800-6100 3.5 Bicycles and hiking permitted
Portuguese 31E59 6800-7300 2.1 Bicycles, hiking and motorcycles permitted
Sunday Peak 31E66 7200-8300 1.7 Bicycles and hiking permitted
Unal 31E58 6350-7050 3 Interpretive loop trail, hiking and bicycles permitted

Hiking Handout: Recreation Trails In Kern River Ranger District (PDF - 149K)