Monache Meadows

With things calming down for us after the wedding. We wanted to get out to use Kayla’s wedding present. A trip more along the lines of camping and exploration than the normal go fast trips that we are used to.  Talking with Jesse and company, we set our sights on the Sierras. We loaded up the Forester and headed toward the 395 North.

Met up with the rest of the group in Mojave, CA at Primo Burger. Just 6 of us total and 2 dogs. Two vehicles. Kayla, Olive and I in the Forester.  Jesse, Melissa, Terra, Amanda and Blue in Jesse’s stock 4×4 F-150.

We headed out from dinner about 9:30 pm or so. Topped up the tanks at the last gas station before the Kennedy meadows turn off.  Headed up 9 mile canyon road into Kennedy meadows and then continued on another 15 or 20 miles to a trail Jesse had mapped out. We hit our first few forest roads, attempting to stay off of the  Monache Meadows Jeep Trail for as long as possible. After circling around a few times we made it to the “trail” that we needed to be on which was actually a paved road. In other words probably could have saved some serious time but taking the paved road. But what fun would that have been! The Access roads were a good warm up  for things to come later in the night.

Finally we made the turn on to the Monache Meadows Jeep trail. Passing the sign that says 4×4 high clearance. Sure! I’m in a stock height Forester with AWD! We got this!  Jesse and I were talking over the radios about taking another route.  I took a look at my co dogs and they are both passed out and radio in lets keep this party going !


Trail in total is about 8 or 9 miles to the Kern river campsite. Goal was to push as far as we could and then set up camp.  Started out pretty mellow a few off camber turns and rocks to go over.  In a mildly build rig there would have been nothing to write home about. Infact Jesse did  95 % of the trail in 2wd in the F150.  In the Forester line selection was key but still walked through the trail with easy. We made it down the trail maybe a mile or 2 down the trail. There was a nice clearing that was designated for camping.  We regrouped and decided to push on. This is when it got fun. Steep Decents had me missing low range, a few rock ledges to drop down, soft, silty sections, lots of tree roots to navigate over and around. Still the Forester hung right behind the f150 with zero issues.   After some careful navigation of our stock vehicles we arrived to our camp site for the night at about 2 am. Popped open the tent and a few sport sodas and hit the rack.

The view in the Am did not disappoint.

We all slithered out of bed pretty late. Was pretty nice having no itinerary  planned. We are so used to wake up pack up camp and hit the trail. This time around we took our time fired up the grill and cook up a  feast Bacon, egg, pancakes, hashbrowns…

After we ate. Jesse and I talked about driving the rest of the way to the Kern River.  Kayla and Terra also came with us. Melissa and Amanda hung out at camp.

5 mins away from camp just as we made it to the meadow it started to rain

Then hailing then snowing even thunder and lighting. Was pretty crazy really.

Then it let up

There was a few pretty steep section dropping down to the river.

Crossing the Kern. We sent the F150 first didn’t look too deep. There was a group camped on there side. She came over to watch us cross over. As we crossed over to the other side we noticed that the group had the same color Subaru XV! What are the chances. Funny to see another Subi way out in the wilderness

Crossing the Kern.


On the way back to camp. A few of these climbs were pretty steep

Three Wheeling it ! 

Sand Dune out in the middle of the meadow. 


Kern Winding through the meadow

We made our way back to camp made lunch. Discussed our options. Kayla and I had to bail early the next AM. So we were going to have to do the “hard” part of the trail solo. So we decided that it would make more sense for us to run the trail together incase there was any issues in the afternoon  before it got dark. We then could camp at the top of the trail or some where closer to Kennedy Meadows. So we packed up and set out for another camp site. The way out things got exciting. Most of the trail dried up pretty quick. However, a few sections remained pretty muddy. Even in the mud I’m pretty sure I could have made it all the way in 2wd in my Toyota. However, the low clearance and lack of low range and street tires, made for a fun time!

Had some issues in this section due to the mud and my street tires packing with mud.. nothing some sticks and rocks and a new line couldn’t fix.

We both made it out unscathed. Cruising the Forest Road I spotted this awesome tank spewing out water.  Had to investigate, was pretty cool had a pipe coming from a near by stream running down the mountain going into the tank.  

We cruised for awhile longer and spotted a little turn off. Found a pretty epic little site with a nice fire pit. Set up camp listened to the Stanley Cup Final on the XM radio and had a few sport sodas.

My girls…

We made another feast for dinner tacos chicken and asada. Beans, chips & salsa etc. Hung out around the fire. Til about midnight.   

Kayla and I need an early start so we woke up and started breakfast and began to pack everything up.

Olive decided to wake up about 830 after we had breakfast lol

Back down the to the 395

The view was awesome!

Made it all the way home with zero issues.

Good times!



9 thoughts on “Monache Meadows

  1. Great read! Thanks for including our Tuff Stuff Rooftop Tent in your pictures and trip. The adventures never end when your camp site is on top of your rig!


  2. Great stuff. We’re actually going up for Labor Day. Only problem we’re 2wd any advice? Taking another 2wd vehicle lol. Figure we’d go as far as we could. But if we can make the whole run, then why not 🙂


    1. Awesome! Should be beautiful up there.

      Depending what you are in. You should be fine… couple climbs you will need to keep your momentum up and pick good lines. I wouldn’t hesitate to take my 2wd yota down out there… but then again its got a locker and a winch on the front and long travel haha.

      Bring a tow strap, Good luck and be safe!


      1. That’s good to hear 🙂
        We have a Tacoma on 33’s with a 3″ lift. We also have an air compressor so we’ll be airing down. A hi lift, we do have a synthetic recovery rope. But we’re also taking a tow strap. And we have a shovel lol
        I have a
        Baja style bumper so I can’t fit a winch on there. But I was thinking or regearing and while I’m at at it why not get a locker right? Mind telling me what you got and how much it cost you? I have no idea bout gears and lockers, def need to start asking about em.


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