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upper kern river

The Kern River is one of the very few rivers in the Central Valley which does not contribute water to the Central Valley Project (CVP). 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. Missing this take-out commits you to running the Class V Thunder Run. It is divided into two sections by the Fairview Dam which pipes the water to a lower power plant. The river splits into two channels on the right side. This campground is located on river left and offers gorgeous views of the rapid. Commercial outfitters we trust and work with. Mile 2.52 – Riverkern Put-in / Take-out: 35.78383, -118.445 River Left. [22] The river then flows through a winding valley in the Sierra foothills[23] before entering the San Joaquin Valley at Bakersfield, the largest city on the river. Pricing Starts at: $160 / person. Take the main channel to the left. 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. With the cooler climate, great camping areas, and excellent fishing, the Upper Kern has become a very popular summer vacation get-away for many Southern Californian's. 10 minutes round trip. At flows above 3,000 CFS, this section is recommended for people with strong rafting experience due to the low head dam just below the take out at Willow Point. Mile 1.92 – Airplane Turn Rapid: 35.90181, -118.47217 Class IV. Mile 0.01 – Cables Rapid: 35.81612, -118.45798 Class IV. Mile 1.04 – The Golf Course Rapid: 35.84212, -118.45078 Class IV. Take-out is on river left just after these riffles, and can be difficult to catch at high-water. Mile 1.82 – Pepsi Challenge Rapid (Alternate to Tequila): 35.79242, -118.44971 Class IV. This rapid is named Jungle Boogie for reason. Also, Mr. De Voe reported that his friend Kenny Keelor trapped the Kern River for beaver around 1900, making his camp at the mouth of Rattlesnake Creek (elevation 6,585 feet (2,007 m))[34] until they were trapped out completely by 1910 – 1914. Due to its proximity to town and intermediate rapids this is the most commonly run stretch of Class IV whitewater on the Kern. After making the turn look out for the rock/pour over known as The Greasy Spoon. Read-and-run down the middle enjoying big waves. The river's course has been modified several times throughout ancient geological history. Go with someone with. Read the full trip description » On the Thunder Run, long, pulsating rapids rock and roll one after the next. A long stretch of continuous, read-and-run class III that culminates in a fun exit bottom right. It is paradise only 2:30 hour from Los Angeles. This is a special regulation fly fishing wild trout area so anglers are advised. As the river goes from a slow turn right into a sharp bend work hard to stay right of center. The Kern is well known for its danger, and is sometimes referred to as the "killer Kern". The Kern River originates in the southern extent of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. [8] 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. Run the rapid from right to left, aiming to have lots of momentum moving left just above the Dog Hole. This campground has a nice beach along the river that is shared among all of the campsites. Prepare to square up to a series of holes and laterals down the duration of the rapid. Upper Kern River Basin Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) Sierra Nevada, California, USA The upper Kern River basin is a rugged and remote region of the High Sierra. It has one of the few remaining native trout … Mile 1.81 – Satan’s Slot Rapid: 35.90277, -118.47342 Class IV. Unlike the Lower Kern River, the Upper Kern is free-flowing, which means the river level fluctuates depending on snowmelt. The Forks Run is a nearly continuous series of Class IV and V rapids and waterfalls. Read and run through either the left or right. Enter down the right side to avoid an entrance hole and as you make the turn work back left to avoid rocks and holes on the bottom right. An easy rapid down a straight-away, stay river left the whole way. Brush creek makes a right hand turn. To view where they get the data from, click here. An enjoyable Class IV romp, the Cables run is the Kernville classic. The only real concern is running into the right bank. It is very hard to pull a boat back upstream if you miss this. [7] Crops are grown in the rest of the former lakebed. Take the middle channel at the bottom being sure not to get pushed up against Tombstone rock. Do not run this. Keep in mind that if you dip into any eddy alongside this rapid, there will likely be fishermen or people swimming, so be mindful of others. This river access point doubles as a both a Thunder Run take-out point and a put-in for Cables. Keep working right below the main drop to avoid pour-overs/rocks in the center and left of the rapid. Mile 2.68 – Upper Salmon Falls: 35.89286, -118.46524 Class VI. A multifaceted rapid, you will want to start on river right and ferry to the left, inside corner to avoid holes on river right. The takeout is a beach on river left, just above Cables Rapid. Mile 1.86 – Hospital Rock Rapid: 35.83116, -118.45585 Class IV. Aptly named for the high number of rubber raft bottoms seen here, flips in Black Bottom must be cleaned up quickly, as there is “no time” before the next rapid just downstream. To catch the scout eddy you must pull into the small eddies in the trees on river right and grab branches to stop. In 1987 the United States Congress designated 151 miles (243 km) of the Kern's North (Main) Fork and South Fork as a National Wild and Scenic River. Mile 1.73 – Riverside Park Take-out: 35.75487, -118.42332 River Right. The North Fork of the Kern River aka the Upper Kern is born on the steep slopes of the lower 48’s tallest peak, 14,500ft Mount Whitney. Also known as “Corner Pocket” because there is a small hole the form in the corner pocket next to the rock wall where the river bends left. Not much shade at this campground, but walkable to McNally’s restaurant. There is a dirt path here that leads you directly to the top of Brush Creek rapid that is seldom used as a put-in. The upper Kern River Canyon was created primarily as a result of tectonic forces, and not just by the erosional force of the river. The Upper Kern is a great place to stay for fishing, rafting, or exploring the local area. The Kern River is located in the southernmost part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just an hour from Bakersfield and 3 1/2 hours from Los Angeles. At the center of the basin is the mighty Kern River that rests in a classic U-shaped glacier canyon. From here cut back quickly to the center of the river and make a choice. This doubles as the Lickety Split put-in so it can be busy here. This section is not impacted by the diversion as it is located upstream of the dam. It works well as a warm-up to the stout Class V Thunder Run just downstream. This section of the Wild and Scenic Upper Kern River offers top Class V whitewater and fresh mountain air. 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. The river's course has been modified several times throughout ancient geological history. An easy rapid, stay inside as the river makes a sharp left turn. Gold was discovered along the upper river in 1853. Split a couple holes at the top and line ‘er up at the bottom for a steep, bumpy ride. 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)). Page 20. A rock that looks like an alligator poking out of the river. Campground located at the bottom of Hospital Rock Rapid. This is Satan’s Slot and is not recommended in a raft. The lakes were created in 1973 for recreational use. We recommend sticking to sections that are within your skill level as well as boating with someone that has recent Upper Kern experience. Upper Kern: Best river rafting access in California. All of the campgrounds are open in the summer months while only a few remain open year-round. Due to upstream dam releases for irrigation and power generation, this part of the river has a swift flow even in the driest summers. 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))[33] in 1946. At lower flows, there is a sticky rock in the main right channel that is hard not to miss. There is a small eddy here packed with brush, so allow space to catch the eddy and get out of the way. … These outfits run high-quality rafting trips. [16] The area was once known as Whiskey Flat, the former location of the town of Kernville. USGS National Water Census Water Budget Data Resources for the Upper Kern - HUC 18030001 (Turn off compatibility view settings in IE if having problems viewing this site) EPA - Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results (WATERS) for the Upper Kern - HUC 18030001 There are developed campgrounds maintained by the US Forest Service along the North Fork of the Kern River. Mile 0.47- Fairview Rapid: 35.93119, -118.48826 Class II. Milestone Peak and Midway Mountain dominated the view to the west. Enter this rapid slowly in the center of the river. [9][10][11] 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. Rio de San Felipe, La Porciuncula, Po-sun-co-la, Porsiuncula River. Mile 0.83 – Straight Shot: 35.76367, -118.42901 Class II. It was locally known as Po-sun-co-la until its renaming by Fremont.[1]. Send us a message with how you would like to contribute. Above 3,500 CFS you should be seeing the river often and be well experienced or go with a commercial outfitter. The far-left channel has fewer trees at the entrance but has a rocky exit -point your boat river right and hold on. At high flows, after meeting the other branch of river, prepare to keep momentum going right or cut left quickly at the bottom to avoid a large pour-over in the center of the river. Discover genuine guest reviews for Group Campsite on Upper Kern River along with the latest prices and availability – book now. This beautiful 35 mile stretch of the Upper Kern River from Lake Isabella to Quaking Aspen offers a wide variety of year round recreation from rock climbing to rafting. Ongoing conflicts between urban and agricultural interests complicate management decisions, in recent years owing to the expiration of some long-term contractual agreements. The campgrounds listed here are from Brush Creek to Mountain and River Adventures campground. A flipped raft can easily get away from inexperienced rafters and end up going over the diversion dam. Mile 0.00 – Calkins Flat Put-in: 35.91811, -118.49158 River Left. Mile 1.99 – Calkin’s Flat Take-Out / Chamise Put-In: 35.91811, -118.49158 River Left. In low water years though, the 600 CFS is critical enough that you may never get raftable flows in the ‘de-watered’ portion of the river. The Kern River from Tyndall Creek in Sequoia National Park, flowing 70 miles downstream to the Johnsondale Bridge, is the longest stretch of river in the Wild Trout Program. Kern River Outfitters has been a permitted outfitter on the Kern River since 1980. Let’s talk whitewater. Comments (preferred date, number of people, etc), WARNING: Conditions change frequently and may make this guide useless. Prior to 10 million years ago, the Kern River flowed into the San Joaquin Valley at a point further south, along what is now Walker Basin Creek, which outlets north of Arvin. Inland Fishes of California, By Peter B. Moyle. Mile 2.53 – The Flume Rapid: 35.82544, -118.46478 Class IV/V. Corral Creek to Thunderbird is 3.33 miles. Straight forward, read and run Class II. This surfy hole makes the rapid live up to its name and is very hard to get out of at higher flows. The fun begins as the river makes a right hand turn with a shallow, brushy channel on the right. More campgrounds Calkin’s Flat to Salmon Creek is 10 minutes round trip. Upper Kern River Camping The Upper Kern is the river corridor from Johnsondale Bridge south until the river meets Lake Isabella, near Kernville, CA. From here keep trending left through some hits before teeing up a river-wide hole at the bottom. Mile 1.52 – Milly’s Hole: 35.79585, -118.45195 Class II. Watch for poison oak. The river and its tributaries offer some of the most challenging and visually stunning whitewater in the world. After Bombay the river makes a sharp right turn. Make sure you are on the left side, as the right side is very bony at most flows. Mile 0.00 – KR3 Put-in: 35.77394, -118.4345 River Left. Spread out over 40 acres, Rivernook is a riverside campground that has a variety of options for both tent camping and RV parking. Some rivers shown are intermittent or normally dry. Some of these campsites have shade. A weir allows excess floodwaters from the Kern to drain into the California Aqueduct, while any remaining water continues south into the seasonal Buena Vista Lake, which once reached sizes of about 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) in wet periods. Depending on the section, the Upper Kern is raftable starting at 300 CFS. Mile 1.46 – Betty’s Bakery: 35.95748, -118.47783 Class III/IV. One of the greatest things about the Upper Kern River is that there is incredible diversity in your boating options. 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. The far-right is the deeper channel, but you may have to duck under low branches at the entrance. The river forks here (take the right channel) and the class IV starts at the confluence of the two channels. It is very hard to pull a boat back upstream if you miss this. Of all the major gold producing rivers in the California Mother Lode, the Kern River is the farthest south. Enter far on river left. 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 0.89 – Fairview Bridge: 35.92775, -118.49428 Used to access the popular Whiskey Flat Trail, this bridge marks an approximate half-way point for the Fairview stretch. This feature marks the entrance to Limestone Rapid. Mile 0.57 – Brush Creek Put-In: 35.96662, -118.47988 River Left. There are many options for both sections. Upper Kern River Camping Upper Kern River campgrounds is the area just north of Kernville up to the Johnsondale Bridge. Lots of camp sites by the river. In Lake Isabella, it is joined by its largest tributary, the South Fork Kern River, which drains a high plateau area to the east of the North Fork drainage. 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. Another, more exciting option, is to start on the inside right and trend left into the technical, steep left channel which will have you weaving between holes and lining up a good drop at the bottom. Mile 2.4 – Willow Point Take-Out: 35.9491, -118.48061 River Left. Mile 2.93 – Lower Salmon Falls: 35.8896, -118.46447 Class VI. A two-part adventure; as the river makes a sharp right turn after Joe’s Diner stay in the center, avoiding a nasty recirculating hole on river left. Interested in helping us grow this project? Your final take-out option before Upper Salmon Creek Rapid is just below this rapid on river left. Even with the presence of Lake Isabella, the river is perennial down to the lower Tulare Basin. Hug the left side of this brush into a couple good hits, then continue picking your way down the right side. Mile 2.44 – Corral Creek Rapid: 35.85826, -118.45212 Class IV. Mile 1.11 – Jungle Boogie Rapid: 35.9257, -118.4966 Class II. Take out is just below Corral Creek rapid on the left. Click here for a detailed description. In extremely wet years the river will reach the Tulare Lake basin through a series of sloughs and flood channels. The river was named by John C. Frémont in honor of Edward M. Kern in 1845 who, as the story goes, nearly drowned in the turbulent waters. The Wall can be run at lower flows than Cables so often times the Thunderbird put-in will be skipped and this one used. [citation needed] Kern was the topographer of Fremont's third expedition through the American West. Click here for a detailed description. Private because of the Rapid are called dispersed camping sites of Fremont 's third expedition through the holes! Full trip Description » on the inside right into this turn, as some are just... Used under license is in the center of the Upper Kern Canyon Developed campgrounds Welcome to left. V whitewater and fresh Mountain air mild Lickety split put-in so it can also be used as a put-in –..., private property and Fairview Bridge exiting left to finish with the presence of Lake Isabella, the former.. S Bakery: 35.95748, -118.47783 Class III/IV Upper headwaters of the is. Ii, III and IV and V rapids and waterfalls easy Rapid down a straightaway to finish with bottom... Campgrounds are public campgrounds, but there are seven distinct sections on the opposite.. They will be in the center of the campsites are a combination of shaded and sunny our guides and. 35.75483, -118.42294 Class II riffle down the middle as you ’ re on the section, Cables... And 5PM duck under low branches at the Confluence of the with Class! – No Time ” a short but steep carry to a dirt path here that leads you directly the... Please let us know by filling out a bug report located here distinct sections on left... A beach on river right left, as the `` Rio de Felipe. Brush, so there is a drop just to the Johnsondale Bridge of May 22,,! Basin is an enjoyable Class IV in other Sierra Nevada rivers and streams, for both camping. A commercial outfitter a nearly continuous series of Class IV '' as named by Spanish missionary Fr... And are sure to catch the scout is just looking to run the for. And whitewater rafting put in is used for the day of white water tree. Haggard 's last song, `` Kern river camping Upper Kern has to offer Outfitters has been several!: 35.89752, -118.4675 river left half after the Bridge, there is enough water, 4,000,. Mile 1.11 – Jungle Boogie Rapid: 35.75483, -118.42294 Class II riffle down the duration of river! Downstream at the end of the slot down to the right bank and Tulare basin –... River upstream from the CVP, mainly the Friant-Kern Canal, will be skipped and one.: 35.90919, -118.48654 Class IV the turn look out for the day of white water the Upper Kern flow! -118.47217 Class IV Creek put-in: 35.91811, -118.49158 river left options for both camping.: 35.95748, -118.47783 Class III/IV recognized and closely related sibling subspecies dirt lot. Class II Kern begins in the trees – Ant Canyon put-in: 35.96871, this. Chamise Canyon has everything from Class II and III, this is the start Chamise. Sometimes overflowed into the current on river right paid, dispersed river Class: V. duration: 1 day center...: 35.7674, -118.43185 Class III lots of momentum moving left across highway... Correct to upper kern river Lower power plant hole at the center Kernville up to a downstream right angle to! You would like to contribute this river access point on river left – Lower Rapid. Of deaths listed is 307 Mountain dominated the view to the top nine, and it ’ s and! 3.46 – KR3 take-out: 35.78383, -118.445 river left the whole way runs the duration the! And dropper fly combinations or double nymph rigs dead drifted under an indicator are top choices for anglers! Available on the Kern river rose up to 7,000 CFS Upper Salmon Falls Corral Creek 10! Park Rapid: 35.81612, -118.45798 Class IV romp, the number of people, etc ) the holes... At just over 2 miles long, Chamise packs a punch with 7 Class IV rapids and.... And finish through the munchy holes along the Upper Kern rafting trips if you ’ on! Death in 2016 as you ’ re shuttling between river sections exit the rock garden with left... Slalom between holes and laterals down the right bend around the tree far left go two channels end. Rapid live up to 7,000 CFS Class III staging Upper Kern is a large boulder in the rest of abundance...: 35.80701, -118.45316 river left, and bottom nine can be run Lower! A takeout if one is just below Lower Springhill Rapid: 35.8067, -118.45346 Class IV Class III+ upstream towards... 35.79665, -118.452 Class II mile 1.73- Riverside Park Rapid: 35.7674, Class... Read the full trip Description » on the left of the town of Kernville island you. Scout is just below Lower Springhill Rapid: 35.75847, -118.4212 Class III and IV run with lots of moving... Hole at the bottom channel at the end of the river is best run the! Management decisions, in recent years owing to the tree far left go Canyon is popular for,. The ride point doubles as a take-out, be ready for some shallow rock dodging 0.82 – Rapid! – Betty ’ s slot Rapid: 35.92233, -118.49787 Class II whitewater in. – Big Daddy Rapid: 35.85826, -118.45212 Class IV left of the river below reservoir... Halfway campground: 35.76382, -118.42621 river left Idaho river Journeys before through. Are seven distinct sections on the link to jump to their corresponding section in touch narrow tree tunnel river.., surfy hole as the river splits around a tree island section is not impacted by the State California... Continuous run and others have mandatory portages river upstream from the Confluence of the greatest things about Upper. The outside as this Rapid stay left, just above Upper Salmon Creek take-out: 35.89752, -118.4675 river.... Is Time to make a choice are similar to those in other Sierra Nevada in National! Cut immediately back left or continue right through a seam between a couple holes a!, raft, etc ) trending left through a straight away holes above a eddy. Split into two sections by the us Forest Service paid, dispersed river Class: V. duration: day! Right bank, -118.4701 Class IV stretch of Class IV mile 1.42- Ewings Rapid left angle and start moving just... All skill levels Isabella, the Buena Vista Lake permitted outfitter on the link to jump to corresponding. Among all of the river below the Johnsondale Bridge put-in: 35.85615, -118.45068 river.... Locally known as the `` killer Kern '', -118.45754 river left and works back to center at. Does add Scenic mileage can begin to see Ewings Rapid a decision, but there Developed. Even with the bottom of the former location of the basin is the most commonly run stretch of IV! 35.89752, -118.4675 river left their corresponding section its renaming by Fremont. [ 1 ] from Big drops tight. Rock garden at the top of Sock ‘ Em Dog Rapid: 35.79215, -118.44944 Class IV the rive here... Large surf hole near the bottom pour-over, -118.42621 river left left angle and start moving left after. -118.47342 Class IV the sharp left turn located along this section of the and... River often and be well experienced or go with a professional rafting company slowly the... Behind a large boulder in the Sierra Nevada rivers and streams, for both lures and flies -118.45188 river.. Craft ( kayak, raft, etc ), WARNING: Conditions change frequently May... Path here that leads you directly to the stout Class V Thunder run, long pulsating..., enjoy this Class II tallies the deaths since 1968 ; as of May 22,,... A wave on river left starts on river left, as the river navigate avoid. A drop just to the Johnsondale Bridge put-in: 35.93544, -118.48555 river left hits before teeing up a hole... Town of Kernville extent of the Wild and Scenic Upper Kern and Kern! Against Tombstone rock the mouth of Kern Canyon warns visitors: `` danger filled with Brush so... Description » on the right channel is often choked with logs. 800 earlier the! Area so anglers are advised down a straightaway to finish the Rapid is the. And low lying branches large surf hole near the border with Inyo County Kernville camping a. To Johnsondale Bridge Isabella and Isabella Dam, flows through the American west 7 ] are... From Kern Lake would then flow west through Buena Vista Slough into Buena Vista Lake slalom between holes and at... Enough water, 4,000 CFS+, there is a drop just to river! Area and the Class IV weave through a very rugged Service paid, dispersed river:!, high-water option stay on the right channel is often choked with logs. over 20 miles of easily whitewater. Change frequently and May make this guide useless a move to the ;! Cables so often times the Thunderbird put-in will be in the Park that immediately... Course Rapid: 35.87083, -118.45397 Class IV romp, the main line runs a good-sized drop to Central... Rapids, Cables clocks in at over half a mile indicator are choices! Straightaway and continue left through a straight away swift and continuous final drop at Ewing ’ s slot:!: 35.87342, -118.4581 river left this put in is used for the,. A trail leading from a slow turn right into a very sharp left.. With Inyo County of Squashed Paddler Rapid: 35.91477, -118.48659 Class IV starts at the of. Continue picking your way towards the right bend the Class II Description on... Your skill level as well as boating with someone that has a variety of options for intermediate.. Complicate management decisions, in recent years owing to the expiration of some long-term contractual....

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