Mile 1.86 – Hospital Rock Rapid: 35.83116, -118.45585 Class IV. A large boulder in the center-right side of the river must be passed on river right. Stay right of center through the first “main” drop. Kern River Camping - 2020 The Kern river provides some of the best camping in Southern California. The Wall is aptly named because of the sharp left turn one must navigate to avoid getting pushed into the right bank. Fly. Specifically to the Kern watershed, an oral history was taken from Roy De Voe, who claimed to have seen "very old beaver sign" on the east side of the Kern River at Funston Meadow (elevation 6,476 feet (1,974 m)) in 1946. Kern River Road Sierra Way in Kernville travels north along the Upper Kern River & becomes Mountain Hwy 99 – which eventually connects with the Western Divide Highway in Giant Sequoia National Monument. Google Map directions. When finishing the rapid punch through a wave on river right to get high in the eddy.  The river then flows through a winding valley in the Sierra foothills before entering the San Joaquin Valley at Bakersfield, the largest city on the river. Try to stay on the inside of this s-turn, otherwise the current will push you right into a large boulder, potentially complicating your entrance to Black Bottom Falls. This doubles as the Lickety Split put-in so it can be busy here. River Class: V. Duration: 1 day. Usually entering center and dodging rocks, stay center as the river turns and line up for the big waves and holes through the bottom of the rapid. Interested in helping us grow this project? From here keep trending left through some hits before teeing up a river-wide hole at the bottom. Mile 2.07 – No Time Rapid: 35.9006, -118.4701 Class IV. To catch the scout eddy you must pull into the small eddies in the trees on river right and grab branches to stop. Mile 1.82 – Tequila Chute Rapid: 35.79215, -118.44944 Class IV. This feature marks the entrance to Limestone Rapid. It can also be used as an endpoint if one is looking to only run the bigger sections upstream. Hey-diddle-diddle, right down the middle! , At Kernville the river emerges from its narrow canyon into a wide valley where it is impounded in Lake Isabella, formed by Isabella Dam. Also known as Little Las Vegas or Camp James Rapid, this rapid flanks Camp James, located on river left. A sign at the mouth of Kern Canyon warns visitors: "Danger. This is also known as the Limestone Put-in. Rather than running the final wave-train, punch into an eddy just behind a large boulder on river left for access to this surf. With many of the campgrounds located directly adjacent to the river, ample fishing, rafting and simply enjoying the river is available to campers. Ant Canyon to Corral Creek is 10 minutes round trip. Boasting the widest variety of whitewater found on any river in California, from Class V technical rapids to an in-town whitewater park (in Kernville), the 20-mile upper section of the Kern River offers something for kayakers and rafters of all levels. Run the rapid from right to left, aiming to have lots of momentum moving left just above the Dog Hole. There are developed campgrounds maintained by the US Forest Service along the North Fork of the Kern River. Immediately following Airplane Turn you will be confronted with Black Bottom Falls, where a large boulder in the center of the river marks your decision point. The Kern River has every variation of whitewater for all skill levels. After this drop work slightly left to finish with the bottom pour-over. Avoid getting pushed to the outside as this rapid is shallow and rocky. Medium flows are 1000 – 3000 CFS. Mile 0.01 – Cables Rapid: 35.81612, -118.45798 Class IV. Mile 2.68 – Upper Salmon Falls: 35.89286, -118.46524 Class VI.  After deviating briefly from its due south course as it flows east around Hockett Peak, it is joined by the Little Kern River from the northwest at a site called Forks of the Kern. The Kern river is generally divided into two different sections: Upper Kern and Lower Kern.  The Kern River flows due south through a deep glacier-carved valley, passing through Inyo and Sequoia National Forests and the Golden Trout Wilderness, and receiving numerous tributaries including Rock Creek, Big Arroyo, Golden Trout Creek and Rattlesnake Creek. Do not run this. Below the canyon the Kern River has a gradient of 0.3% until it reaches the Kern River Oil Field and begins to meander along flat land into and through the city of Bakersfield. Click here for a detailed description. A large parking area offering dispersed camping with a good shaded beach to launch from. Mile 0.47- Fairview Rapid: 35.93119, -118.48826 Class II. Mile 0.89 – Johnny McNally’s Fairview Lodge and Restaurant: 35.92743, -118.4934 River Left. While there are river gauges above and below the diversion (allowing you to deduct what’s in the diversion, as they don’t always divert 600 CFS), for simplicity sake, most of our river guides go by the gauge in Kernville. The Kern River is particularly popular for wilderness hiking and whitewater rafting. Enter this rapid slowly in the center of the river. It is paradise only 2:30 hour from Los Angeles. The Golf Course is split into two sections, top nine, and bottom nine. Melting from Mount Whitney and then barreling through the Forks of the Kern, the Upper Kern section begins at Johnsondale Bridge and ends at Lake Isabella. A Kern River Use Permit is required year round for each craft (kayak, raft, etc). Formerly known as Camp James, the end of the campground you can begin to see Ewings Rapid. The Friant-Kern Canal, constructed as part of the Central Valley Project, joins the Kern about 4 mi (6.4 km) west of downtown Bakersfield, restoring some flow to the river. There are seven distinct sections on the Upper Kern. The headwaters are surrounded by the Great Western Divide to the west, the Kings-Kern Divide to the north and the main Sierra Crest to the east, all of which have multiple peaks above 13,000 feet (4,000 m). Mile 1.52 – Milly’s Hole: 35.79585, -118.45195 Class II. Historically, a 20 mi (32 km) distributary of the Kern split off above Bakersfield and flowed south to what is now Arvin, where it formed the seasonal Kern Lake, which would grow to cover about 8,300 acres (3,400 ha) during wet periods. From there find your line and weave through a couple holes at the bottom. Mile 3.46 – KR3 Take-out: 35.77394, -118.4345 River Left. In periods of extremely high runoff, Buena Vista Lake overflowed and joined other wetlands and seasonal lakes in a series of sloughs that drained north into the former Tulare Lake, which would sometimes overflow into the San Joaquin River via Fresno Slough.. The river is open year-round with a 5 fish limit. At normal flows, the main line runs a good-sized drop to the left of the slot. This is the last take-out before getting to the Fairview Dam. Mile 0.59 – Brush Creek Rapid: 35.96639, -118.48002 Class II/III. Minimum Age: 16-18* Adrenaline junkies will love this trip. Upper and Lower Salmon Falls are non-navigable Class VI rapids. An enjoyable Class IV romp, the Cables run is the Kernville classic. Mile 1.30 – Freight Train: 35.76215, -118.42361 Class II. Enter right of center being mindful of shallow rocks. Located only a 1/4 of a mile outside Kernville, this RV Resort, is right on the Kern River and is on the border of Sequoia National Forest. Attribution: Certain graphics or images are used under license. One of the greatest things about the Upper Kern River is that there is incredible diversity in your boating options. Click on the link to jump to their corresponding section. It is very hard to pull a boat back upstream if you miss this. Coming down the northern side of the plateau provided the first good look into the Upper Kern Region. This campground has a nice beach along the river that is shared among all of the campsites. A straightforward, continuous romp! At high water, 4,000 CFS+, there is a class IV sneak for the rapid far on river left. Mile 1.39 – Raft Surf Wave: 35.95843, -118.47746 Around 1,500 CFS a fun surf wave forms at the bottom of Joe’s Diner. Beautiful River, Lake, Mountain and many great restaurants. The normal entrance to the rapid is on river right, cutting through the rock garden at the top. Send us a message with how you would like to contribute. Mile 0.00 – Calkins Flat Put-in: 35.91811, -118.49158 River Left. At just over 2 miles long, Chamise packs a punch with 7 Class IV rapids and lends itself well for running multiple laps. Well, the Fishing under 600 CFS on the Upper Kern is better than it was at 800 earlier in the month. Above 3,500 CFS you should be seeing the river often and be well experienced or go with a commercial outfitter. Mile 1.73 – Riverside Park Take-out: 35.75487, -118.42332 River Right. Mile 1.30 – Kern River Sequoia RV Resort: 35.7623, -118.42336 River Left. This diversion takes place at the Limestone take out, and ends at the Lickety Split put in, diverting up to 600 CFS of water. high Sierra Nevada Mountains and flows through the Ino. Only raftable at flows of 3,000+ CFS. Mile 2.34 – Salmon Creek Take-out: 35.89752, -118.4675 River Left. At low water the tree far left at the entrance comes into play, so be aware. Up to date Kern River flow and snowpack report, How to understand Army Corp Kern River flow data. The geologically active Kern Canyon Fault runs the length of the canyon, from the river's headwaters down to the Walker Basin about 10 miles (16 km) south of Lake Isabella. Google Map directions. The Forks Run is a nearly continuous series of Class IV and V rapids and waterfalls. Halfway Campground is a hot campground located just downstream of the Wall Rapid and right before Tombstone Rapid.  California Golden beaver were native to the Central Valley and throughout the Sierra Nevada. Interested in helping us grow this project? Mile 1.99 – Calkin’s Flat Take-Out / Chamise Put-In: 35.91811, -118.49158 River Left. Both the far right and the far left go. Correct your angle to a downstream right angle as you get into the top of the rapid and run the flume drop with a slight right angle. Mile 2.44 – Corral Creek Rapid: 35.85826, -118.45212 Class IV. There are large waves and holes down the center of the rapid.  This basin also included the Kaweah and Tule Rivers, as well as southern distributaries of the Kings River that all flowed into Tulare Lake. 10-15 minutes round trip. Do not run this. Mile 0.00 – Ant Canyon Put-in: 35.88543, -118.45845 River Left.  Kern was the topographer of Fremont's third expedition through the American West. Mile 2.82 – Powerhouse Rapid: 35.77979, -118.44339 Class III. Some rivers shown are intermittent or normally dry. Kern River is an unforgettable experience. However, water from the CVP, mainly the Friant-Kern Canal, will be deposited for water storage in the aquifers. Read and run through either the left or right. There is a seam between a ledge on river left, and the Dog Hole in the center of the rapid. These outfits run high-quality rafting trips. Most campsites feel private because of the boulders and trees between campsites. Discover genuine guest reviews for Group Campsite on Upper Kern River along with the latest prices and availability – book now. This is the last take-out before you’re really in the lake. The river is split in two by a long tree island that runs the duration of the rapid. McNally’s is a popular steakhouse. By Matt|2021-01-03T15:36:23-08:00October 3rd, 2020|Categories: Kern River|, Kern River Conditions January 2021 OutlookPosted: 1/3/2021Upper [...], By Matt|2020-11-26T06:46:48-08:00August 25th, 2020|Categories: Kern River|, Kern River Flows How to read the Army [...]. Of all the major gold producing rivers in the California Mother Lode, the Kern River is the farthest south. Upper Kern River Upstream from the Confluence of the Little Kern River. Below Isabella Dam the Kern River flows southwest in a rugged canyon along the south edge of the Greenhorn Mountains, parallel to SR 178. The bottom nine can be run on river right or river left. Kern Canyon, the deep canyon of the river northeast of Bakersfield, is a popular location for fishing and boating, particularly fly fishing and whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, and riverboarding. The Upper Kern River below the Johnsondale Bridge is a heavily used area by river rafters, bait fishermen, and bathers. Look for an eddy that has a short but steep carry to a dirt parking lot. We did this because some sections don’t run cleanly into the next and it is pretty unusual to do a true top to bottom trip. Brush creek makes a right hand turn. To view where they get the data from, click here. Kern River Outfitters has been a permitted outfitter on the Kern River since 1980. Mile 1.00 – Tombstone Rapid: 35.80324, -118.45324 Class IV.  The area was once known as Whiskey Flat, the former location of the town of Kernville. Most of these campgrounds are public campgrounds, but there are some private camping options available too. Google Map directions. Johnsondale Bridge to Willow Point is 10 minutes round trip. Fed by snowmelt near Mount Whitney, the river passes through scenic canyons in the mountains and is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Mile 1.19 – Screaming Right Turn Rapid: 35.87226, -118.45574 Class IV. A rock that looks like an alligator poking out of the river. The Upper Kern River is paralleled by trails to within a half-mile of its source (which lies at 13,600 feet (4,100 m)). Read-and-run down the middle enjoying big waves. This campground is located on river left and offers gorgeous views of the rapid. From there cut immediately back left or continue right through a tight brushy channel. It works well as a warm-up to the stout Class V Thunder Run just downstream. The “Flume” for which the rapid is named, is a drop just to the right of the ledge hole. Many of the irrigation canals that flow in a southerly direction from the river follow the old channels of the Kern River, especially the canal that flows along Old River Road. Pull off the highway on the right side (heading north) and carry boats across the highway and down to the river. Mile 4.60 – Cemetery Take-out: 35.7193, -118.43438 River Right. The USGS stream gauge on the North Fork Kern River has recorded an average annual mean discharge of 806 cubic feet per second (23 m3/s) and a maximum daily discharge of 33,600 cu ft/s (950 m3/s), and the gauge on the South Fork Kern River shows an average annual mean discharge of 123 cu ft/s (3.5 m3/s) and a maximum daily discharge of 14,000 cu ft/s (400 m3/s). The rapids at high flows are swift and continuous. Google Map directions. Mile 1.34 – Headquarters Campground: 35.7962, -118.45009 River Left.  The Kern Canyon fault passes very close to Isabella Dam, and is considered a threat to the dam's structural stability. The North Fork is paralleled by Highway 155 for 25 miles, so access to the upper reaches of the River is relatively easy in this area. Not much shade at this campground, but walkable to McNally’s restaurant. It was locally known as Po-sun-co-la until its renaming by Fremont.. The Kern River, originally Rio de San Felipe, later La Porciuncula, is a river in the U.S. state of California, approximately 165 miles (270 km) long. Correct to a downstream right angle, and run the center drop with a right angle. The campsites are a combination of shaded and sunny. The burger stand makes for an easy and delicious lunch as you’re shuttling between river sections. Google Map directions. Exit the rock garden with a left angle and start moving left across the rapid. Despite its remote source, nearly all of the river is publicly accessible. An easy read and run rapid, this section forks right around a small island but can be bypassed and medium and higher flows to the left. 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