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Pilot Knob


Location: Kern County, about 2.5 miles north-northeast of the town of Onyx, 155 miles from Los Angeles


Auto Club: Kern County
Forest Service: Sequoia National Forest
Topo: Onyx 7½


Distance: 6 miles r.t. cross country.
Gain: 3,400' .
Time: 8-10 hours r.t.
Rating: Class 2; Very Strenuous
Navigation: Moderate
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions

Original: Charlie Knapke - Oct 1988


  • From Mojave go north on SR 14 to the intersection with SR 178 (Walker Pass Road). Turn left.
  • Go west on SR 178 for about 23 miles to Bloomfield Ranch Road (paved, on right-hand side). At this spot SR 178 makes a giant turn south. Go 0.8 miles further to a dirt road on the right. Turn right.
    Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 0.3 and 0.35 miles, forks. Go straight.
  • At 0.4 miles, several buildings with a bridge. Park on the right near the trailers before the bridge. This is private property.
  • Alternately, park on the highway and hike the 0.4 mile.


  • From the parking area (2,800') cross the bridge on the south fork of the Kern River.
  • Continue north up the road about 50 yards and find a cattle trail heading to the left. In another 100 yards a large canyon opens up to the left (west). This canyon is an alternative route, but is typically very brushy.
  • Leave the road and hike up the cattle trail, then over a minor rise on the right, then down into the canyon. Note this location for your return.
  • Staying generally on the slopes north of the main canyon, ascend steeply to a saddle (5,520'+) just south of the peak. [Note: the rocks in the canyon bottom are polished and very slippery. The route to the north of the canyon bottom can look difficult, but usually turns out to be easily passable].
  • Turn right and follow a well-ducked trail up to the summit.
  • Keep to the right of the rock outcroppings near the top. The register is on the west summit block.


Permission is required to park and hike on private land. Please contact the HPS Outings Chair for information on this route and instructions for obtaining permission to cross the private property.

This peak lies within the Dome Lands Wilderness. A wilderness permit is not required for day hikes.

History of Summit Signature

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Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 23-Jun-2002
© 1998-2002 - All Rights Reserved

Download the Microsoft Word Version of this Guide.