Forks of the Kern Raft Trip

Class IV-V | Ages 16 & up

2-Day Trip
3-Day Trip

The 2-3 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.

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, 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.

Schedule & Duration

  •  Months of operation: March – September
  • Available daily starting at 7 a.m.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your trip
  • Two to three days; six to seven hours per day


  • 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!
  • Max group size: 15 guests

Additional Information

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

You may cancel 45 or more days before your Sierra South trip date and receive a full refund less a $25 processing fee per person. Cancellations made 44 days or fewer before trip date are non-refundable. If you must cancel, please try to find a friend to take your space. All trips go rain or shine. However, we reserve the right to alter or cancel a trip/class due to high- or low-water conditions, other such uncontrollable situations, or insufficient reservations. Only in the case of cancelled trips are trip fees refundable. Upon approval by our main office, refunds will be sent via mail. Refunds cannot be granted by guides, nor can refunds be given if you leave a trip or class early for any reason. Sierra South is not liable for other costs incurred in association with a cancelled trip. We suggest trip insurance such as to cover any unexpected situations.

Some of our trips require a minimum number of guests to operate. The Forks of the Kern Raft Trip requires a minimum number of 6 guests. We will attempt to contact you if the minimums have not been met for the activity that you have chosen prior to trip date. Minimum numbers can be met through one or multiple reservations and can be met up to the day before the trip. You can call 800-457-2082 for up-to-date trip status.

Responsibility & Liability

All Sierra South trips and classes involve physical activity and include certain elements of risk. We make every effort to run trips and classes in the finest, most fun-filled manner as possible. However, we cannot guarantee your safety. It is your responsibility to evaluate your level of fitness and to select a trip or class which is appropriate for you. Seek medical advice before your trip if you question your physical condition. It is your responsibility to follow our instructions.

Everyone will be required to sign a release of liability/assumption of risk form and photography/video waiver form before departure. Minors under 18 not accompanied by their parents must bring a release form signed by their parent or legal guardian.

Sierra South
Mountain Sports
Phone (800) 457-2082
Map Marker

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

Store: 10am – 5pm, Mon-Fri

           10am – 4pm, Sat-Sun

Reservations: 10am – 3pm, Mon-Fri

U.S. Forest Service Logos