Hiker Symbol for the Kern River Valley Bass Peak Hike


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A supurb off-trail peak hike opposite Sherman Peak at 9909 ft.

Bass Peak
On Bass Peak.

  • Miles (roundtrip): 2.2
  • Tread: Off Trail , class 1-2+
  • Top Elevation: 9945 ft
  • Low Elevation: 9200 ft
  • Vertical: 750 ft
  • Land: Sequoia National Forest
  • Where: Kern Plateau, Sherman Pass
  • Trailhead Access: Sherman Pass Overlook
  • Near: Kernville, Kennedy Meadows
  • Options: Near several other trails & peaks. For a big adventure, do the Sirretta High Route Traverse.
  • Note: Seasonal Closure due to snow.
  • Map: Kern River Sierra Outdoor Recreation Map, 6th ed.
High Sierra Panorama
The High Sierra on display. From the Kaweahs to Junction Peak to Mt Tyndall, Whitney, Langley...and the awesome Kern River Trench.

On the trail

Short but sweet; this fantastic jaunt through an old growth pine and fir forest to a dramatic peak adds a bit of adventure to the summer hiking season. Easily combined with Sherman Peak or the many other adventures in the area, this hike provides some of the greatest views with the least amount of commitment.

The Details

From the Sherman Pass Overlook, start hiking up through the hill to the southeast. The ridgeline of Bass Peak will soon become more obvious.

Hiker at tree
Above: Enjoying the older growth trees
on the way up. Right: The bouldery ridge.

The easiest route is to follow the ridge to the southeast until reaching the bigger boulders. At this point, one can avoid some extra scrambling by staying partially in the trees on the west side of the ridge.

Bass Peak Bass Peak Ridge
Just about to summit. Approaching from the south is easiest. Looking south. The peak is in the distance.

The peak is further to the south than it appears, and approaching it from farther south is a bit less technical. Since the actual peak isn't necessarily obvious from below, it may take some scrambling around to find the high point.

Register. Froest
Signing the register. The forest.

At almost 10,000 feet, the register is located on the south side, just down below the peak (9945 ft).

DomelandsLooking into Domelands Wilderness.

Enjoy the awesome mountain vistas, especially to the north! One can see the Little Kern Drainage, the Upper Kern Trench, The Kaweah range, the huge divide peaks separating the Kings River and the Kern River, and several 14,000 peaks including Mt Whitney.

Also look for some of the closer monuments; Kern Peak, Olancha Peak, the South Fork of the Kern River drainage, Blackrock Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Sherman Peak ridgeline, Woodpecker Peak, Bald Mountain Lookout, Crag Peak, Smith Mountain, Granite Knob, Sirretta Ridge Peaks, Cannell Peak, Slate Mountain above Dome Rock, Baker Point Lookout, and Sunday Peak - to name just a few.

Dont Get Lost!
Kernville Adventure Map

This peak and nearby hikes are depicted on the Kern River Sierra Outdoor Rec Map, 6th ed.


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Map Details


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Other Hiking Options

Sirretta Traverse:

For a very demanding hike, link a high route between Sirretta Peak with Bass Peak, and a loop with Cannell Trail. Hiking northward yields the best views and favorable sun angles. (More info here.)

Bag 2 Peaks:

Hike Sherman Peak also!

View North
The northern view into the endless adventure land of the High Sierra.


The Trailhead is at the Sherman Pass Overlook / Cannell Trailhead.

From Kernville, the trailhead is 1+ hour away. Drive up Mtn 99, then turn right before the Johnsondale Bridge onto Sherman Pass Drive and go up to the parking area at the top. The hike starts up the hillside to the south.

From Kennedy Meadows, take Sherman Pass Road to Sherman Pass Overlook.

From Parker Pass Dr/M50, drive past Johnsondale and cross the Kern River. Sherman Pass Drive is just past the Johnsondale Bridge on the left.

Sirretta Traverse Hike

Near Bass Peak, traversing the "Sirretta High Route."




Other Nearby Activities