Monday, June 11, 2007

Monache Meadows Chapter 1

Six miles long, five miles wide and more than 8,000 feet high, Monache Meadows is often cited as the largest mountain meadow in the Sierra. I began my adventures into Monache in the 1960s. My father was an enjoyed the off road challenges and deer hunting that Monache had to offer. Back then, there was not paved roads, as there is now, and it was a very rough trip. Today the trails are considered 4x4 beginner's trails but not back in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Monache 4x4 road (34E38) now starts 1/2 mile past ( 21S36)the North end of Powell Meadow and ends at the South Sierra Wilderness on the West and Bake-oven Meadow on the East. Official end is at Snake Creek. pristine setting of the South Fork of the wild Kern River. The dirt road seems a bit longer but to the end the "Jeep trail" is 2.4 miles. Staging area is 4 miles North of the Black Rock Information Station (760) 376-3781 ex 276. Black Rock Station has maps, permits and general information, it also has the last potable water you will see of the Monache trip. Tread Lightly, Ray

From Bakersfield it is about 64 miles to Kernville, California. This is the direction I come in from. Kernville has the last Hospital and gas you will see on your way up. The last gas and market are at James Store on the North end of Kernville . The Hospital is the last one and closest to Monache on the South side Kern Valley Hospital 6412 Laurel Ave. Mt. Mesa. C A (760)-379-2681 On the North East it is Ridgecrest Regional Hospital 1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest, CA (760) 446-3551. Cell phones don't work in the Monache area, but in an emergency, I think Black Rock info center has a phone, or find a ranger quick.

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