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Lookout & Schaeffer Mountain Day Hike + Bald Mtn. Lookout.

  • Sep 29, 2012 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members


Hiking Category

This is a class 2 hike featuring forest hiking, Sierra meadows, as well as an expansive view. There is one steep ascent near the beginning that we will be taking our time on. The hike is 4.8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1605 feet. We will also be driving up to visit the Bald Mountain Lookout which is about .5 miles of hiking with an elevation gain of about 150 feet. The total distance for this hike is about 6 miles with an elevation gain of about 1800 feet.

This hike features two of the top views in the Kern River Valley. There are two sections that are on dirt roads and both roads are bumpy, but not terrible. In my opinion trucks and vehicles with high clearance are best. This hike is contingent upon the number of people that that are willing to carpool hikers to the trailheads. Please speak up in the comment section if you are willing to take a few people, and speak up also if you would like a ride. Remember please to throw in some gas money, and maybe a little cash for the car wash.


Click Here for the Weather Forecast

Hiking Plan

  • We will carpool and caravan from Kernville at 8:00am, and we should be at the trailhead and hiking by 9:00. The last part of this drive is on a dirt road that is bumpy. On the way up we will be passing Bonita Meadow and we will be parking near Danner Meadow.

  • We will go look at Danner Meadow.
  • We will make the steep, but short climb to the top of Lookout Mountain (9722').

  • We will continue down the ridge to Schaeffer Mountain (9340') and then a short distance further to Schaeffer Point [masked], [masked]) where we will stop and eat an early lunch. Schaeffer Point has one of the best views in the Kern River Valley, and lots of great places to sit and eat.
  • After we eat we will hike back up the ridge, and then back down to the vehicles.
  • As we drive out we will stop and look at Bonita Meadow. (photo)
  • We will drive to the Bald Mountain Lookout and hike up to it. ( info here ).
  • On the way back to Sherman Pass we will stop and look at Paloma Meadow and also hike briefly on the short trail there ( info ).
  • We will drive back to Kernville.

Lookout Mountain. 07-09-2011.

Class What?

It is important that we all understand the rating system that organizers use on their hikes. For my hikes I generally use something close to the Yosemite Decimal System. I have seen many different versions of this system, and many are adamant that their version is the right version and etc.. The best description I have seen of the five classes that seems to encompass the most general idea may be found at under ‘Five Classes of Climbing Difficulty’ ( click here ).


*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware that Kern River Valley Hiking Club events involve risks, and could result in injury, illness, death, and damage or loss of property. The dangers include but are not limited to: the hazards of traveling in remote areas without medical services or care, the forces of nature, the inherent dangers involved in participation in sports, wilderness travel, and social activities, and the negligent actions of other persons or agencies. You agree to freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards. You further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern River Valley Hiking Club - Tulare-Kern Peakbags & Hikes from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.

*** PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY *** No one in the group is a guide or in any way responsible for your comfort or safety. Please be prepared with adequate gear and supplies for the trip. Please remember that going out into wilderness has risks associated with it and you should be aware and prepared to address any changes in weather, road conditions or to look out for/avoid random acts of nature, including insects, wild animals and natural hazards. It is your responsibility to evaluate the difficulty of any activity you participate in, and decide whether you are prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment, and the physical and emotional stamina to safely participate.

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  • Rick H.

    Bald Mtn best 360 views in S Sierra (as promised), road up in terrible shape (don't know how N made it up). L + S Mtns nothing special but view from S-Pt is best of the Upper Kern + Freeman Crk valley. special thanks to N for ride.

    October 3, 2012

  • Bob L.

    Nathan, thank you for the organization and planning. I would not have seen these views without your guidiance.

    October 2, 2012

  • Paul

    Great views!!!!!!

    September 30, 2012

  • Belinda R.

    It was wonderful getting out of the valley up to the cool mountains! Nathan, thanks for another great hike :)

    September 29, 2012

  • Kim R.


    September 29, 2012

  • chong ye r.

    It was great nathan, thanks for the great day!

    September 29, 2012

  • Larry W.

    sorry to bail, but think I've got a flu bug

    September 29, 2012

  • Larry W.

    Bako carpoolers meet at Mesa Marin Chevron at 0645

    September 25, 2012

    • Belinda R.

      Donna, it's the Chevron on 178 out past Mesa Marin. We park in their parking lot.

      September 27, 2012

  • Belinda R.

    I'm planning on going, but would like a ride with someone with a high clearance vehicle.

    September 25, 2012

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