Exploring Mill Creek Trail at the Old Kern

PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL ARMES
The Armes family on a hiking adventure.

By Paul Armes
Submission

14.9 mile round trip
4,206 feet of elevation gain

Trailhead is located on the Old Kern Canyon Road off Hwy 178, near the mouth of the canyon KRV side. The best way is by taking 178 toward Bakersfield. Right after the cattle guard turn left onto OKC Road. You will then drive about 1.5 miles, passing over Mill Creek on the way. Turnout will be on the right marked with trail signs.

From the trailhead you head along the side of the mountain alongside the road until you reach a closed gate (not locked); make sure to close it be-hind you. Now you are on the hillsides making your way up the Mill Creek Canyon. During spring it will all be green and wild-flowers and a lot cooler in temperature— summer not so much.

At about mile 1 you’ll come to your first creek crossing; a lot of people stop here, but you can keep going and there will be a couple more creek crossings and a lot more shade. After the creek crossings at about mile 2 the trail starts to get steeper as it climbs toward Breckenridge. The scenery starts to change from grassy hills to your forest-type mountain landscape.

The trail ends just short of Breckenridge Campground about 7.5 miles in. Then you turn around and come back. It took us six hours round-trip.
The great thing is, go as far as you like and turn around. There is some-thing cool by the creek, but I won’t spoil it.

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