Cannell Plunge is an incredible ride through some beautiful scenery. The ride starts way up in the mountains at Shermen Pass and then cuts across ridges and through mountain meadows until it hits the "plunge" which drops 6000' over the final 8 miles of the ride.
Just because this ride is a shuttle ride doesn't mean it's a cake walk. The 2700' of climbing is all done between 8000' and 9900' elevation and the thin air really kicks your butt. If you really feel adventurous there is a way to ride this as a loop, climbing up to the top of the plunge on fireroads.
From Highway 99 head east on highway 178 or 155 to Kernville (155 is steep and windy). This time around we took the shuttle from Mountain and River Adventures (link below) which is in Kernville.
If you want to self shuttle, cross the Kern river and head north (don't know the road name) for about 5 miles and look for the sign for Sherman Pass. Turn right on Sherman Pass road and continue up the mountain to the pass, it's well marked and there is a small parking area with a porto-john. As you drive in to the parking lot you will pass the trail head on the right hand side of the road.
At the peak you have the choice of starting down the Cannell Trail immediately or heading up to Sherman Peak for about 4 more miles of riding and about 700 extra feet of climbing.
Cannell Plunge - June 2003 - Even more incredible pictures of the Cannell Plunge from an older ride I did with Steve Wolf.
Cannell Plunge Trog Style - A great ride at the Cannell Plunge with 16 Trogs and someone who just happened to show up.
The beginning of the ride you have to make the choice of climbing to Sherman Peak or not. This climb is a 7 mile out and back and is a climb from 9200' to 9900' at the beginning of a strenuous ride so you might think twice before riding it. Both trail heads are on the side of the parking lot you entered on, the the climb is uphill on the right hand side of the road and the main trail on the left.Pictured
Bill Sorni, Michael Paul, Miles Todd, and Mountain Bike Bill on Sherman Peak.
Again at the peak, Michael Paul, Sorni, Miles, MTB Bill, and the Ogre.
The route back down from the peak is quite rocky and rugged, on the way up this is mostly hike-a-bike. On the way down it is challenging and a blast.
Miles and Michael on the descent from Sherman Peak.
The first 15 miles or so of the ride include incredible views of high sierra meadows and spectacular buffed singletrack. This portion of the trail is rolling singletrack and the elevation really works you.
Steve Wolf descending one of the steep downhills down to Big Meadow. Those rocks are loose and tend to shift under your tires.
Bill Sorni cruising with the cows in Big Meadow.
Group shot in the Big Meadow.