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2 Day Kern Whitewater Rafting Trip

Class IV-V | Ages 16 & up

2-Day Trip

The 2 day Forks of the Kern is the most difficult and remote run we offer, and one of the premier wilderness whitewater rafting trips in the USA.

Forks of the Kern River Multi-Day Whitewater Rafting Trip

This trip offers continuous Class IV-V whitewater for 17 miles with big rapids like Upper Freeman, Vortex, Gauntlet, Confusion and Carson Falls. The spectacular Sierra scenery includes views of the Needles and the granite-lined gorge you’re 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. If we do not have a trip going or meet minimum numbers, we may book with an outside outfitter. A Class V Paddlers Evaluation is required prior to running class V whitewater.

The Class V Paddlers Evaluation is not competitive. The purpose of the test is to evaluate the ability of guests to deal with situations we might encounter. It is also done to emphasize teamwork, build confidence, and as a tool for you to judge your readiness to paddle class V whitewater. Class V rafting is strenuous and adventurous. For those who are ready, it is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Class V rafting requires full participation, teamwork, and paddlers who are in good physical condition.

The Class V Paddlers Evaluation may include:

  • Calisthenics and running
  • Hang from a bar for one minute
  • On river swimming and river skills, including swimming across currents, catching eddies, swimming through class II-III rapid
  • Throwbag practice
  • A Class V Paddle Talk

The exact makeup of this test is at the discretion of the trip leader and will depend on the river, water level, and the paddlers.

Sierra South reserves the right to turn away those that we feel are not ready to tackle the class V trip. We may also substitute a class IV trip as an alternative.

Participating in a Class V Paddlers Evaluation in no way certifies your ability to successfully paddle class V whitewater or guarantees your safety.

Sierra South reserves the right to substitute oar/paddle combinations for paddle boats.

Schedule & Duration

  • Two days; 6-7 hours per day
  • Months of operation: May – September
  • Trip Arrival Time: 6:30 am.
  • Trip Departure Time: Starting at 7 am.
  • We suggest you arrive at the store 30-45 minutes prior to the trip departure time. This will allow sufficient time to check-in and change into wetsuits if needed or required. Our trips must leave on schedule. Don’t miss the boat!


  • All participants must be physically fit, good swimmers, and have previous Class IV experience
  • A Class V Paddler’s Evaluation is required prior to running Class V whitewater
  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must weigh between 50 and 275 lbs.
  • Please wear shoes that will stay on your feet in the water, such as tennis shoes, water shoes, or sandals that have a heel strap. No flip-flops or bare-feet!
  • Minimum group size:  8 guests
  • Max group size: 16 guests

Additional Information

  • Wetsuits and dry-bags are included on our Forks trips
  • Gourmet outdoor meals are prepared by the guides at the camp
  • All of our trips may be adjusted based on water levels and/or other conditions

Reservation Policies

Please see our Reservation Policies Page for details on our cancellation, guest responsibility and liability, accompaniment, minimums, and water levels policies.

Sierra South
Mountain Sports

11300 Kernville Road
Kernville, California 93238

Sierra South operates under permits issued by: Sequoia National Forest, Klamath National Forest, and the National Park Service/Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Sierra South is an equal opportunity recreation service provider.

Hours of Operation


Open 8 am-6 pm Monday-Sunday


 Open 9 am-5 pm Monday-Friday

U.S. Forest Service Logos