Kernville Rock

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Scrambling
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
2723 ft / 830 m
12017 Hits
78.03% Score
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Kernville Rock
Created On: Oct 19, 2006
Last Edited On: Nov 27, 2009


Kernville Rock aka "Kern Slabs" is a splendid place to enjoy some year round slabby fun. The rock overlooks the Mighty Kern River from an easily accessible eagles perch. Beautiful hard excellent quality granite await the modest traveler who happens upon her local. This quality stone has been the hang around/out/in of many of the regions most notable first ascenters, and there's a few routes to show for that, but mostly the stone provides a few days fun for the average climber. Pay special attention to "Lieback 5.5*," "Cornflakes 5.9," the 5.10 "Thin Cracks" challenging start crack to its right and the varietous face climbs. Bring good rubber and a good attitude.

"Stonemasher Rockclimbing Guide to the Kern River Canyon and Environs" E.C. Joe and Dick Leversee.
"Needles" Sally Moser, Greg Vernon and Patrick Paul.
"California Road Trip - Climber's guide to Northern California" by Summit and Slater

Getting There

Via Norteno (North) mi amigos: Head down from Dome Rock (Springville route) until you are just above Kernville. Kernville Rock is the big beautiful rock above the road to the east, look for the nice turnout. If you enter town or pass the hatchery... turn around, you've missed it.

Via Sureno (South) mi amigos: Head up from Bakersfield into the wonderful Kern River Valley. Turn your donkey towards Kernville. Stop for a beer and a meal at the KRBC, that's Kern River Brewing Company, then head to the prominent stone up 'Upper Kern River Road' 10 miles or so until the domish granite appears to the East. If you reach Dome Rock rack up and climb a bit, cause Dome really rocks, but make sure you turn around to enjoy some Kern Slab as well!

Red Tape

Don't be an idiot.

Follow this rule and you will find yourself hassle free. Ah gotta love public lands that are respected. You WILL respect this land won't you? I thought so. Climbers have a special responsibility to the land and stone. Pack garbage out! And remember bring your climbing up the the level of the climb not the climb down to your level. Respect the FA. Replace old fixed gear, but don't add bolts without first consulting FA parties.


There is modestly priced camping along the river across the street from the Kern Slabs: Gold Ledge, Hospital Flat, and Fairview. With some creativity you can find it even cheaper to slumber near the stone. Be responsible.

Current Conditions

External Links

The gamut on local grub and snooze beta:
Kernville Chamber of Commerce

Get Involved:
SSCA Southern Sierra Climbers Association
Kern River Valley Council

Choice Sudz and Chow:
Kern River Brewing Company