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Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin? Try our class IV Upper Kern trips. Here's what guests have said about our trips. Book your 2018 raft trip today!
Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our introductory and beginning classes for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes! Book your 2018 kayak class today!
Congrats to our very own Evan Moore, Sierra South kayak instructor/raft guide, and son of co-owner Tom Moore, who competed in the most extreme kayak race in the world, the North Fork Championship, and crushed it! Paddling in a field of 31 of the world's best whitewater boaters, Evan placed second in the premier event of the NFC weekend — the Jacob's Ladder Giant Slalom. The flow race day was the highest ever for the event — 3900 cfs. All the high water runs on the Kern Cataracts this year paid off for Evan, who masterfully handled the exceptionally difficult whitewater.
With all the runoff, Lake Isabella is filling up! There hasn't been this much lake to explore in years! And we've got the lake kayaks and standup paddleboards (SUPs) to get you out there!! We have a variety of different models, new & used, in stock. Recreational kayaks from Dagger, Jackson, Perception, and Wilderness Systems. SUPs from BIC, Boardworks, and NRS. Stop by the Store or see them online in our Boat Barns. Also check out our Intro To Lake Paddling class!
Following years of drought and low flows we had great weather and water for the 52nd Kern River Festival! Saturday, the juicy flow on Brush Creek was excellent for the Extreme Downriver Race. On Saturday afternoon the Upper Kern at Riverside Park was about 3500 cfs for the Hyside Mini-me Races, and then went up to about 3800 cfs for the Tom Johnson Slalom on Sunday. All the results are now available on the Events page of the KernFestival.com web site.
The May snow course measurements for the Kern River Basin snowpack were at 210% of the normal May 1 total. This is about the same as in the big El Nino Winter of 1997-98! The California Cooperative Snow Surveys May 1 Bulletin 120 Runoff Forecast projects the April-July runoff to be 242% of normal. This is higher than the runoff projection on May 1, 1998.
The heavy snow resulted from a parade of atmospheric river events and systems with a broad, moist westerly flow. At times lower elevation rain and melting snow produced high flows on the Upper Kern. Based on the preliminary flow data from the COE gage at Riverside Park, the highest peaks have been 18338 cfs at 8:00 a.m. January 9 and 23863 cfs at 10:00 p.m. February 7. (Flows are from the COE's WY17 tabulation.)
Releases to the Lower Kern were increased in mid February and according to COE flow data peaked at flows of over 5000 cfs in May and June. Kayakers have been running the Cataracts higher than ever before. Today (July 20) the Lower Kern is running about 3450 cfs.
In early January, while most of us just stood with our mouths agape, local Kern paddlers Evan Moore (son of Sierra South co-owner Tom Moore) and Johnny Chase jumped on the river and got in some epic runs. Both are very accomplished, elite kayakers who have paddled internationally. On January 5 they paddled Brush Creek and then the Upper Kern down through Chamise Gorge, Upper Salmon Falls and Lower Salmon Falls, Sock 'em Dog and Fender Bender. On January 9 they did a "Bridge to Bridge" (Johnsondale Bridge to Kernville Bridge) in 2.5 hours, with a stop a Corral Creek. They did it without portages and commented that 17,000 cfs was "'kinda pushy... really fun." Now the they're are off to Patagonia for more amazing paddling. Here's a video from Evan during the Bridge to Bridge run.
Check out the big selection of New and Used Kayaks on Sale! Get a new boat for the 2017 kayaking season! Bring in your old kayak and we will sell it for you. Really, how many dinosaurs do you need in your garage?
You've seen them at the lake, river, beach and on TV -- learn to paddle a SUP! It's fun and a great way to get an on-the-water workout! We offer a 2.5 hour Intro to SUP class and a more extensive SUP 101 class. We also have 4 Hour, Full Day, and Overnight SUP rentals.
ALL DAY Tube Rental: Shuttles all day, helmet and life jacket - Minimum Age/Wt: 6/50 lbs. - Price: $30 - Reserve online or call 1-800-457-2082!
One-Time Tube Rental: 1 trip down, 1 shuttle, helmet and life jacket - Minimum Age/Wt: 6/50 lbs. - Price: $25 - Reserve online or call 1-800-457-2082!
Shuttle: Departures will be every ½ hour from the Sierra South store starting at 9:00 am weekends and 9:30 am weekdays. Sunday through Friday shuttles end at 2:00 pm. Saturday shuttles end at 3:30 pm.
Guided: If customer would like a guide to accompany them the cost is $50 for one trip. (One guide for up to 8 people.)
One-Time Shuttle Only: $5/person per shuttle.
Note: Renters must wear PFD and shoes. Tubes can only be used in conjunction with our Shuttle and on the Lickety-Split run. No alcohol!