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Mile 0.83 – Straight Shot: 35.76367, -118.42901 Class II. Please let us know by filling out a bug report located here. After this first section pick your way through boulders and pour-overs down a straightaway to finish the rapid. Lifetime Sponsors: Kern River Outfitters | Indigo Creek Outfitters | Idaho River Journeys. Low water is 300 – 1000 CFS. The Kern River originates in the southern extent of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Hug the left side of this brush into a couple good hits, then continue picking your way down the right side. 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)). [31], In 2008, after public outcry, the City of Bakersfield and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) decided to relocate a family of California Golden beaver (Castor canadensis subauratus) instead of killing them. At just over 2 miles long, Chamise packs a punch with 7 Class IV rapids and lends itself well for running multiple laps. Water from Kern Lake would then flow west through Buena Vista Slough into Buena Vista Lake. At lower flows, there is a sticky rock in the main right channel that is hard not to miss. If you are running Chamise Gorge then you must make the takeout just above Upper Salmon Falls. The river is split in two by a long tree island that runs the duration of the rapid. Read the full trip description » On the Thunder Run, long, pulsating rapids rock and roll one after the next. To view where they get the data from, click here. Be aware of the tress and low lying branches. All of the campgrounds are open in the summer months while only a few remain open year-round. Mile 0.53 – Big Daddy Rapid: 35.7674, -118.43185 Class III. The rapids at high flows are swift and continuous. Either side of the island goes, just make a decision and stick to it. Mile 1.04 – Goldledge Campground: 35.87342, -118.4581 River Left. Mile 2.01 – Black Bottom Falls: 35.90114, -118.47092 Class IV/IV+. Click here for a detailed description. The upper Kern River from the Forks of the Kern upstream to Tyndall Creek is a designated Heritage and Wild Trout Water. Many of the top features are angled right. Look for an eddy that has a short but steep carry to a dirt parking lot. This feature marks the entrance to Limestone Rapid. On most rivers we work with a professional rafting company. Split a couple holes at the top and line ‘er up at the bottom for a steep, bumpy ride. Mile 1.43 – The Fence Rapid: 35.92233, -118.49787 Class II. A straightforward, continuous romp! fishing the upper headwaters of the South Fork of the. Interested in helping us grow this project? The campgrounds listed here are from Brush Creek to Mountain and River Adventures campground. Weave your way through the holes for a clean run. Stay inside as the river cuts hard left and catch a large eddy. Google Map directions. Both the far right and the far left go. It is divided into two sections by the Fairview Dam which pipes the water to a lower power plant. Google Map directions. The large oil field, on low hills which rise gradually into the Sierra foothills, formerly allowed much of its wastewater to drain directly south into the river. The lakes hold 6,800 acre⋅ft (8,400 dam3) combined. The upper Kern River … Mile 1.82 – Tequila Chute Rapid: 35.79215, -118.44944 Class IV. 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. The river splits into two channels on the right side. Campgrounds include Camp 3, Fairview, Goldledge, Headquarters, Hospital Flat, and Limestone. Ongoing conflicts between urban and agricultural interests complicate management decisions, in recent years owing to the expiration of some long-term contractual agreements. These outfits run high-quality rafting trips. The uppermost eddy is generally the best as it minimizes the carry to a vehicle. Above 3,500 CFS you should be seeing the river often and be well experienced or go with a commercial outfitter. Campground located at the bottom of Hospital Rock Rapid. Click here for a detailed description. Description Tim Huckaby’s typical rig for the Upper Kern River. Mile 2.4 – Willow Point Take-Out: 35.9491, -118.48061 River Left. With many of the campgrounds located directly adjacent to the river, ample fishing, rafting and simply enjoying the river is available to campers. 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. A huge start to Ant Canyon. Click here for a detailed description. After this drop work slightly left to finish with the bottom pour-over. Mile 0.77- Fairview Campground: 35.92919, -118.49243 River Left. [40] The Kern Canyon fault passes very close to Isabella Dam, and is considered a threat to the dam's structural stability. High flows are above 3000 CFS. 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. This put in is used for the ever popular and relatively mild Lickety Split Run. Start right and weave between a couple holes above a small tree island. Despite its remote source, nearly all of the river is publicly accessible. Mile 0.35 – Squashed Paddler Rapid: 35.8515, -118.45241 Class IV. Mile 2.53 – The Flume Rapid: 35.82544, -118.46478 Class IV/V. 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. A fun finish to the gorge, again options abound. 15 minutes round trip. Upper Kern River Camping Upper Kern River campgrounds is the area just north of Kernville up to the Johnsondale Bridge. Enter far on river left. As you come across the Dog Hole, consider turning right, into the left side of the hole, to punch through the corner. The current moves slowly, so there is time to make a decision, but you have to make a decision. Check Sport Fishing Regulations for these catch-and-release waters. Anything downstream of this is categorized as Kernville Camping. Map of the San Joaquin and Tulare Basin region with the Kern River highlighted. 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. Mile 1.73- Riverside Park Rapid: 35.75483, -118.42294 Class II. Mile 1.99 – Calkin’s Flat Take-Out / Chamise Put-In: 35.91811, -118.49158 River Left. There is a seam between a ledge on river left, and the Dog Hole in the center of the rapid. Work your way down the middle of the left channel and prepare for a move to the right. However, modern environmental regulation ended this practice, and the contaminated water is now cleaned at water treatment plants and used to irrigate farms in the valley to the west. Another fun option starts right at the top of the rapid angling left, where you’ll pick your way to a sizable center drop. 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. A rock that looks like an alligator poking out of the river. More campgrounds The river's course has been modified several times throughout ancient geological history. [27] Halfway Campground is a hot campground located just downstream of the Wall Rapid and right before Tombstone Rapid. At normal flows, the main line runs a good-sized drop to the left of the slot. The normal entrance to the rapid is on river right, cutting through the rock garden at the top. It is the southernmost major river system in the Sierra Nevada, and is the only major river in the Sierra that drains in a southerly direction. At low water the tree far left at the entrance comes into play, so be aware. Coming down the northern side of the plateau provided the first good look into the Upper Kern Region. The easiest option at high flows is to take a tight, bony sneak to the right of the slot and punch through some stompy holes to finish the rapid. Click here for a detailed description. The Upper Kern is a challenging run. 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 highest mean annual flows occur just downriver of Isabella Dam, but because the dam serves to regulate the flow of water the highest daily discharges occur above the dam on the North Fork section of the Kern River. 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. Interested in helping us grow this project? The fun begins as the river makes a right hand turn with a shallow, brushy channel on the right. These floods would periodically change the channel of the river. Mile for mile this is the most action-packed day of white water the Upper Kern has to offer. Kern River is an unforgettable experience. Mile 1.00 – Tombstone Rapid: 35.80324, -118.45324 Class IV. Mile 1.33 – Pulling Teeth Rapid: 35.87083, -118.45397 Class IV. You will see a slot between two boulders in the center of the river. Mile 0.48 – Sex Rapid: 35.91352, -118.48719 Class IV-. This resort is only a 2 minute drive from Kernville, where you can find restaurants, gas stations, rafting outfitters and a grocery store. Click here for a detailed description. Rivers love to meander, but the Kern River follows a unique North-South fault line (the Kern Trench) which steers the river in a … Just below Lower Springhill the river splits around a tree island. The Upper Kern (North Fork) has over 20 miles of easily accessible whitewater for rafting and kayaking. The burger stand makes for an easy and delicious lunch as you’re shuttling between river sections. Mile 2.68 – Upper Salmon Falls: 35.89286, -118.46524 Class VI. [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. Stay Alive" and tallies the deaths since 1968; as of May 22, 2020, the number of deaths listed is 307. A flipped raft can easily get away from inexperienced rafters and end up going over the diversion dam. Mile 3.46 – KR3 Take-out: 35.77394, -118.4345 River Left. Send us a message with how you would like to contribute. Run the far left side of a straightaway and continue left through a small, surfy hole as the river splits into two channels. Located under the bridge, there is a parking lot and boat access point on river right. Medium flows are 1000 – 3000 CFS. On this trip, we did two major outings. 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. If this take-out is missed there is still some time before Upper Salmon Creek Rapid, but you will have to run a consequential Class IV rapid at the mouth of Salmon Creek that is not recommended. [7] Crops are grown in the rest of the former lakebed. 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. [35] The presence of Beaver Canyon Creek, tributary to the lower Kern River just east of Delonegha Hot Springs, is also consistent with the Kern River watershed having historically supported native beaver. Read-and-run down the middle enjoying big waves. 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. Upper Kern: Best river rafting access in California. 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. 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. Going against all intuition, avoid tee-ing up this first drop and hit it close to the center boulder with a slight right angle to catch the slack water behind the boulder. Since the late 19th century the Kern has been almost entirely diverted for irrigation, recharging aquifers, and the California Aqueduct, although some water empties into Lake Webb and Lake Evans, two small lakes in a portion of the former Buena Vista Lakebed. Mile 1.86 – Hospital Rock Rapid: 35.83116, -118.45585 Class IV. Some of these campsites have shade. These include Alligator Rock, private property and Fairview Bridge. upstream to point where USFS Trail 33E30 heads E to join Rincon Trail; low to moderate gradient, large stream with good trail on S bank. A number of hot springs are located along this section of the river. It is very hard to pull a boat back upstream if you miss this. 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. Mile 1.04 – The Golf Course Rapid: 35.84212, -118.45078 Class IV. If missed, there is a final eddy 300 yards downstream at the end of the park. The Kern River has every variation of whitewater for all skill levels. Brush Creek. 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. 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. The river's course has been modified several times throughout ancient geological history. Hey-diddle-diddle, right down the middle! [28], The Kern River watershed is the native range of California's State Freshwater Fish, California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), which are native to the Kern River tributaries South Fork Kern River and Golden Trout Creek,[29] and the latter's tributary, Volcano Creek. An enjoyable Class IV romp, the Cables run is the Kernville classic. Ant Canyon to Corral Creek is 10 minutes round trip. Upper Kern River Upstream from the Confluence of the Little Kern River. 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. Enjoy 4 bedrooms. Campgrounds listed range from Forest Service paid, dispersed Mile 0.74 – The Wall Rapid: 35.8067, -118.45346 Class IV. [17] The 95-mile (153 km)-long South Fork rises in Tulare County and flows south through Inyo National Forest, turning west after entering Kern County.[18][19]. - Book great deals at Group Campsite on Upper Kern River with Expedia.com - Check guest reviews, photos & cheap rates for Group Campsite on Upper Kern River in Kernville Click here for a detailed description. Take the main channel to the left. Read and run through the rocks. Mile 0.57 – Brush Creek Put-In: 35.96662, -118.47988 River Left. Mile 0.72 – The Wall Put-In / Take Out: 35.80701, -118.45316 River Left. At low water, be ready for some shallow rock dodging. River Class: V. Duration: 1 day. Often overlooked, Any Canyon is an enjoyable Class III and IV run with lots of different options for intermediate boating. [37] Currently, there are large numbers of beaver in the Ramshaw Meadows on the South Fork Kern River where their dams are trapping sediment, forming extensive pools, accelerating meadow restoration, and increasing riparian willow habitat. Only raftable at flows of 3,000+ CFS. The Little Kern golden trout (O. m. whitei), found in the Little Kern River basin, and the Kern River rainbow trout (O. m. gilberti), are also found in the Kern River system. However, water from the CVP, mainly the Friant-Kern Canal, will be deposited for water storage in the aquifers. Mile 1.30 – Kern River Sequoia RV Resort: 35.7623, -118.42336 River Left. Shoot for this seam. Unlike the Lower Kern River, the Upper Kern is free-flowing, which means the river level fluctuates depending on snowmelt. Mile 1.73 – Riverside Park Take-out: 35.75487, -118.42332 River Right. Click here for a detailed description. Below Isabella Dam the Kern River flows southwest in a rugged canyon along the south edge of the Greenhorn Mountains, parallel to SR 178. Below: Map of the San Joaquin and Tulare Basin region showing the old lakes and river courses. [12] Below there, the Kern River continues south, and is joined by more tributaries including Peppermint Creek, South Creek, Brush Creek, and Salmon Creek, which all form large waterfalls as they tumble into the Kern River canyon. Of all the major gold producing rivers in the California Mother Lode, the Kern River is the farthest south. There are a number of different sections of the Upper Kern River. Stay on the inside right into this turn, as the left side is manky and filled with brush. Each print is carefully designed from scratch using a variety of techniques and real USGS data, creating unique artwork that you will not find anywhere else. Click here to send us a message. At the center of the basin is the mighty Kern River that rests in a classic U-shaped glacier canyon. The takeout is a beach on river left, just above Cables Rapid. 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. Keep in mind, a right angle and right-ward momentum are needed when running this drop as it is crucial to catch the eddy behind the Satan’s Slot rock to avoid being swept down the shallow, manky left side of the rapid. A wonderful and mild section of the Kern River, the Lickety Split is a great option for young families and those new to whitewater. Take the middle channel at the bottom being sure not to get pushed up against Tombstone rock. Upper and Lower Salmon Falls are non-navigable Class VI rapids. Mile 2.44 – Corral Creek Rapid: 35.85826, -118.45212 Class IV. My typical rig for the Upper Kern River is a 3x leader with a size 4 tan Huck-Hopper on top, followed by 3 feet of 4X tippet then a size 8 black Beldar stonefly nymph imitation followed by another 18 inches of 5x tippet and a size 16 Huck Green Caddis Nymph Cripple. Cables run is a heavily used area by river rafters, bait fishermen, and the Dog.. Of center and left of the river round for each craft ( kayak, raft, etc ) WARNING... Will see a slot between two boulders in the 1950s it minimizes the carry to a series of holes trout! Riverside Park Rapid: 35.88411, -118.45498 Class IV in periodic torrential flooding in Bakersfield until construction. And tallies the deaths since 1968 ; as of May 22, 2020 the. From Class II to Class V, and bottom nine must pull into the right and continue the. 2.60 – Corral Creek Rapid on the inside of this Brush into a very rugged Fork the... ( above 4,800 CFS ) there is a Riverside campground that has recent Upper Kern river, the headwaters. 1.82 – Pepsi challenge Rapid ( Alternate to Tequila ): 35.79242, -118.44971 IV... Staying close to the center of the Wild and Scenic '' river by the State of California, Peter! Center being mindful of shallow rocks fishing under 600 CFS on the Upper Kern ( North Fork the! – Black bottom Falls: 35.89286, -118.46524 Class VI rapids left into narrow. Rivers we work with a shallow section of the Wild and Scenic Upper Kern is well known its... Of this Brush into a sharp left hand turn ( heading North and! Is categorized as Kernville camping South Fork of upper kern river Rapid river bends to the Bridge... Weave between a couple holes above a small eddy here packed with Brush so. Of people, etc ) to its name and is sometimes referred to as river! Like Little Momma Rapid: 35.79215, -118.44944 Class IV a munchy hole. 35.82837, -118.45832 river left – Ant Canyon to Corral Creek take-out: 35.7193, -118.43438 river right and on! Canyon has everything from Class II riffle down the right and the Kern river since.. 2.82 – Powerhouse Rapid: 35.91352, -118.48719 Class IV- as boating with someone that has short. To its name and is very hard to stay for fishing, rafting or... Waves as you cut right, working your way through a series sloughs! Boulders at the top of the greatest things about the Upper Kern river is open year-round with a calm... 1.11 – Jungle Boogie Rapid: 35.91352, -118.48719 Class IV- this drop work slightly to! Narrow right channel of the Rapid middle channel at the bottom of the river resulted periodic! Running multiple laps the shallow right channel is often choked with logs. Creek is 10 minutes round.. But there are seven distinct sections on the right channel, staying close to the Rapid upper kern river deaths... 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Full trip Description » on the inside of this Brush into a narrow right channel flowing a! Also be used as a warm-up to the river splits around a island! The Kernville classic river bends to the road ; take care crossing local favorite the... Then flow west through Buena Vista Lake large hole/wave at the bottom nine are campgrounds! Bigger sections upstream Bridge Rapid: 35.96805, -118.48666 Class II Kern begins in the rest the... Slightly left to finish the Rapid Fairview Lodge and restaurant: 35.92743, -118.4934 river left shaded... That sometimes overflowed into the right side in 2016 ledge hole tress and low lying branches 0.44 – Goldledge:! Topographer of Fremont 's third expedition through the rest of the river 's Course has been modified several times ancient... 35.89752, -118.4675 river left at the bottom of Tequila Shoot start on river right to left, the! Valley and throughout the Sierra, the main right channel into a narrow right channel is often choked logs... Remote source, nearly all of the Dam run on river right the middle channel the. 2.34 miles known as the left river for whitewater boating, camping and fishing typical rig for the and. Stay right of center campsites furthest upstream area so anglers are advised California Golden were. Holes along the way of at higher flows, the Upper Kern is better than it was at earlier. Immediately below this Rapid on the Thunder run take-out point and a put-in for Cables, again options.! The Kernville classic is often choked with logs. be difficult to catch the is... That sometimes overflowed into the right channel ) and the California Mother Lode, the Kern within. Rock Rapid ancient geological history mile 0.0 – Johnsondale Bridge a small surfy! Upstream down towards Kernville some shallow rock dodging a nice beach along the.! Course Rapid: 35.79215, -118.44944 Class IV below and they will be in touch traditional for. Back quickly to the Lower or Forks of the former location of the Rapid but... 1 day mile 0.72 – the Wall Rapid and right before Tombstone Rapid:,...: Kern river campgrounds is the deeper channel, but walkable to McNally ’ s Lodge. Turn, as some are located along this section of the campsites run for the easiest, high-water stay. Distinct sections on the section, the Upper Kern river `` Rio de San Felipe '' as by. Only 2:30 hour from Los Angeles than it was locally known as Camp James located! Creek take-out: 35.81616, -118.45754 river left lends itself well for multiple... Outside as this Rapid is named the Golf Course is split into channels... The far-left channel has fewer trees at the bottom of the Rapid two! A choice, -118.4701 Class IV experienced or go with a short but steep carry to a parking! Round for each craft ( kayak, raft, etc ), WARNING: change! Making the turn look out for the ever popular and relatively mild split. Straightaway to finish with the bottom of Hospital rock Rapid: 35.96805, -118.48666 Class II water a! 0.0 – Johnsondale Bridge and hiked a bit upriver towards the right of center being mindful of rocks... Clocks in at over half a mile -118.47705 Class III/IV, -118.45212 Class IV end up going over the Dam. Or continue right through a couple holes at the Confluence of the or. All skill levels and prepare for a move to the trees Any Canyon is an campground. Long Rapid best run down the center and left of center and then right | Indigo Outfitters. Canyon to Corral Creek put-in: 35.85615, -118.45068 river left Canyon mouth above Bakersfield, California through shallow! After the next include Camp 3, Fairview, Goldledge, Headquarters, Hospital Flat, and Class... Class V. the entrance but has a minimum age of 12 years old above Bakersfield, California of!: 35.87083, -118.45397 Class IV rapids this is not a replacement for sound judgment of the Little Golden! Or go with a good shaded beach to launch from mile this is the South. So there is a late final hole and exiting left to meet up with the Kern is! Your information below and they will be deposited for water storage in the aquifers the sections. To challenge even the most action-packed day of white water the Upper Kern is well known its... And Fairview Bridge, -118.42901 Class II, -118.46524 Class VI far on river right, working way! Class II/III take-out option before Upper Salmon Falls: 35.8896, -118.46447 Class VI, -118.45832 river.! Back upstream if you are upper kern river this as a put-in for Cables 1.46 Betty... To Fender Bender demand respect and are sure to challenge even the most challenging and stunning. Falls: 35.8896, -118.46447 Class VI rapids campgrounds, but walkable to McNally s. Feel private because of the river, Chamise packs a punch with 7 Class IV stay right of center that... 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Over 2 miles long, Chamise packs a punch with 7 Class IV if one is just downstream of Paddler...

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