Outbound Collective logo

Hike up Powers Peak in Kernville

Kernville, California



10 miles

Elevation Gain

3200 ft

Route Type



Added by Allison Boyle

Kernville and the Lake Isabella area are most widely know for their white water rafting on the Kern River, however don't miss out on hiking Powers Peak. It is only about an hour from Bakersfield and 2-3 hours from the LA area. Its seriously an undiscovered gem of a hike, and great for winter when other mountains are snowed in. It is 10 miles round trip and 3200 feet of total elevation gain (which is comparable to the White Mountain hike to put it in perspective!).. which leads me to my favorite part about the hike (besides the epic views of Lake Isabella of course)... grabbing beers at Kern River Brewing Company post hike! KRBC is literally only a few minutes from the trailhead and such an awesome end to a leg busting hike. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are in the Kern River Valley area.

High Level Details:

  • ~10 Miles Round Trip
  • ~3,200 feet total elevation gain for trip
  • Trailhead elevation: 2,811 feet
  • Highest Point on the trail: Powers Peak, 5,778 feet
  • Estimated Time to complete: 4-5 hours
  • No water source along the way, so bring plenty of water 
  • Dog friendly? Yes! We love bringing Lincoln on this hike and there is hardly ever anyone on it
  • No Permits needed

Camping and Lodging Information:

There are a ton of options for Camping and Lodging in Kernville and the Lake Isabella Area. Honestly, take your pick. 

Trail Details:

The trailhead is only a short distance from the Kern River Brewing Company, and you'll see a big dirt pullout and a sign marking the trailhead. Go through the first gate, but make sure to close it after you have entered. The trail is straight forward for most of the hike and is a steady incline the whole way to the summit, and gets pretty steep at the very top. You'll reach some switchbacks at around mile 2.5.  When you get to the top of those switchbacks (about 4.2 miles in), turn right at the fork to go towards Powers Peak. The final push is steep, but worth the summit views of Lake Isabella and the Kernville area. When the trail disappears at the end, make your way towards the highest portion of the mountain. Be sure to sign the register! 

Happy Hiking!

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app


Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

Hike up Powers Peak in Kernville Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Camp at Lower Springhill

Sunday Peak Trail

Dispersed Camp along Salmon Creek in Sequoia NF

Fly Fish the Kern River above the Johnsondale Bridge

Remington Hot Springs

Remington Ridge Trail