BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On a new episode of Tori's Trails The Now Bakersfield’s Tori Cooper stepped into Native American territory to explore the world they left behind for hikers.
The Unal trail is an interpretive trail, meaning it's a moderate length trail with concentrated informational stops meant to inform visitors about what they are seeing. In this case the Unal Trail provides visitors with more awareness of the Native American heritage left behind in the Sequoia National Forest.
The Tubatulabel people are some of the first to call the Kern River Valley their home. In their native language Unal means ,‘Trail of the Bear,’ so don’t be surprised if you see a bear along your route.
Members of the tribe, with ties to land associated with the trail also left behind numbered stops to ensure visitors walked away with something more than just a workout.
The Unal Trail was developed in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the local Tubatulabal to teach forest visitors not only about forest service management practices but also about the early Native Americans that lived in the area.
To go along with visitors trek is a booklet written from the Tubatulabel perspective, describing each different significant area on the way to the top including significant trees that have been around for hundreds of years, special and dangerous plant life and even descriptions about their campsite that was left along the trail.
During the summer months the natives sought out the higher mountains to find shade and avoid the sun.
Visitors will climb over 4,000 feet in elevation along the three mile loop to the top. Once you reach the top you are officially over 6,000 feet in elevation and there are scenic view points with benches to sit and enjoy. The top also overlooks the San Joaquin Valley.
If you are interested in learning about the trail along your hike just stop by the U.S. Forest Service station at the bottom of the trail to grab a booklet.