If you are looking for an "up close and personal" Kern River whitewater experience, try captaining your very own inflatable kayak. Our sit-on-top two-person I.K.s are comfortable to ride in and an absolute gas to paddle! Let us show you how to paddle your own I.K. and then lead you down the Class 2-3 water of the Lickety Split run. By mastering the basic paddling skills taught by your ever encouraging Sierra South river guide, most people should be able to navigate their own I.K. down the roarin' rapids of the Kern River with style. Our I.K. adventures run twice daily. The price includes two-person I.K.s, paddles, lifejackets, and helmets. Wetsuits are required in the spring and may be rented at the Sierra South Outfitter's store. We usually make two runs on the Powerhouse run. Please call for daily times.
How about a whole day of whitewater fun? Try the best of both worlds! Come rafting and inflatable kayaking all in one day. Enjoy a half-day in the 2-person inflatable kayaks and the other half as a bigger group in a raft. Lunch is on us between the runs. This trip is especially popular with Scout troops, YMCA Parent/child programs, church groups, company outings, and family & friends. Whitewater Merit Badges are available to earn for those scouts who qualify. Wetsuits are required in the spring and may be rented at Sierra South Outfitter's store.
Sierra South’s co-owner, Tom Moore (an Eagle Scout) designed the Whitewater Merit Badge program more than 30 years ago. It is unique to the Kern River and has been approved in cooperation with the Great Western Council of Boy Scouts of America. Earn your Whitewater Merit Badge this summer. Come rafting and inflatable kayaking all in one day. Leaders, please bring pre-filled-out scout blue cards. Prerequisites for the trip are Canoeing and Swimming Merit Badge. The scouts should read the Whitewater Merit Badge book prior to the trip. They will be quizzed orally at the end of the day on the book and on their exciting day on the river. Lunch is provided.
Want the express track to enjoying
the thrill of Whitewater Kayaking? Think of this as the equivalent
of first-time tandem skydiving with an instructor; only on
water. You get to feel the rush of paddling in the front of
a two-person whitewater kayak with a skilled instructor at
the controls in the back of the boat. We will help paddle you
down the Lickety Split class 2-3 section of the Kern River
for the sheer fun and excitement of the sport. You need no
previous experience. Your guide will give you all the instruction
you need as the two of you together will maneuver through the
fun rapids of the Kern for an hour’s worth of pure whitewater
pleasure. This is also a great trip to experience with a friend,
spouse, or significant other in another Dynamic Duo with an
instructor. It is a gas to watch them go through a rapid at
the same time! If you simply want to experience the rush of
kayaking before putting in the time and effort in acquiring
the skills, this is the fast track, quickie way to go. Weight
and age limits apply.
Want something a bit wilder than the class 2-3 Lickety Split? Try a Half Day Upper Kern trip and see what class 3-4 whitewater is all about! Sierra South offers four Half Day start times a day. With easy road access and multiple put-in options, we pick and choose the best sections of river to run. Wetsuits are strongly recommended for this trip until mid June. You can book your wetsuits online at the same time you book your trip. No food is provided on this trip. Max group size 25 guests. Min. age 12 years old.
The Wild & Scenic Upper Kern is a spring runoff river offering a variety of sensational whitewater along a 20 mile section just north of Kernville. More difficult than the Lickety Split run, the Upper Kern offers class 3-4 whitewater from late March through August depending on the season’s snowpack. With easy road access and multiple put-in options, we pick and choose the best sections of river to run. A hearty river side deli lunch is served mid day to fuel you for more whitewater to come. Wetsuits are strongly recommended for this trip until mid June. You can book your wetsuits online at the same time you book your trip. Max group size 25 guests. Min. age 12 years old.
For a short time in the spring the Upper Kern River snowmelt offer’s the one day Class 5 Thunder Run. The “Thundy” season is typically mid-May through mid-June. For the adventure seekers the Thunder Run is the most difficult one day trip we offer. With continuous class 4-5 rapids with names like Sock’em Dog, Squashed Paddler and Fender Bender you will get your fill of huge whitewater and come away with some great stories to tell your grandkids. All Thunder run participants must be physically fit, good swimmers and have previous class 4 experience. A Class 5 Paddlers Evaluation is required prior to running Class 5 whitewater. A hearty river side Deli lunch is served mid day to fuel you for more whitewater to come. Wetsuits are required on all Class 5 trips. You can book your wetsuits online at the same time you book your trip. Max group size 25 guests. Min. age 16 years old.
Running high in the Sierra from its source near Mt. Whitney, the Forks of the Kern is the most difficult and remote run we offer. A 2 or 3-day Forks of the Kern run is considered one of the premier wilderness whitewater trips in the USA. This trip offers continuous Class 4-5 whitewater for 17 miles with big rapids like Upper Freeman, Vortex, Gauntlet and Carson Falls. The spectacular Sierra scenery includes views of the Needles and the granite lined gorge you will be traveling through as well as brief side hikes to waterfalls such as Freeman Falls, Peppermint Falls and Dry Meadow Teacups. Gourmet outdoor meals are prepared by the guides at camp while you try your luck catching an elusive native Golden Trout. All Forks of the Kern participants must be physically fit, good swimmers, and have previous Class 4 experience. A Class 5 Paddler’s Evaluation is required prior to running Class 5 whitewater. Wetsuits & Dry-bags are included on our Forks trips. Max group size 15 guests. Min. age 16 years old. Please download our Forks of the Kern Float Notes for additional information.
Lower Kern River (Class 3-4)
The ultimate in overnight trips, the Lower Kern is a dam-released section flowing out of beautiful Isabella Lake. After capturing the spring runoff of the boisterous Upper Kern River, water is released on the Lower Kern all summer providing steady warm flow in this steep, granite-walled, secluded canyon. Hot summer day's, quiet pools, punctuated by demanding Class 3-4 rapids make this the most popular 2-day overnight river trip in Southern California. 1 Day Lower Kern trips are available when 2 Day trips are not completely booked. 1 Day trips may be booked for the first day (Class 3), or second day (Class 4), of a 2 day trip. Call Reservations to check availability, or for more information.
*Sierra South is a booking agent for Lower Kern raft trips. Coupons and discounts we offer do not apply.
Store: 760-376-3745 Mail Order: 800-376-7303 Reservations: 800-457-2082
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