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Upper Kern Full Day Class V

Class IV-V | Ages 16 & up

Adult (Sat)
Adult (Sun - Fri)

The Upper Kern Full Day Class V offers intrepid river runners a full day of Class IV-V whitewater rafting, our most challenging trip.

Challenging Whitewater Rafting on the Kern River

For a short time in the spring, the snowmelt from Mount Whitney provides the Kern River with enough water to raft one of the best sections of Class V Whitewater in the US. The Class V season is typically mid-April through mid-July. For the adventure seekers, the Thunder Run or Chamise Gorge sections of the Upper Kern are the most difficult one-day raft trips we offer. The Thunder Run has continuous class IV-V rapids with names like Sock’em Dog, Squashed Paddler, and Fender Bender. Chamise Gorge has class IV-V rapids called Helicopter Rock, Satan’s Slot, Black Bottom Falls. You will definitely get your fill of huge whitewater and come away with some great stories. We will provide a fully catered lunch midway through the trip to satisfy your hunger and give you a chance to exhale from all the action.

Sierra South will provide its most experienced and talented guides and safety kayakers for this trip. Career guides who are extremely capable of teaching techniques and thriving in this intense environment. All class V participants must be physically fit, good swimmers, and have previous class IV experience. A Class V Paddlers Evaluation is required prior to running class V whitewater. The paddler’s evaluation is not competitive. The purpose is to evaluate the ability of guests to deal with situations we might encounter. It is also done to emphasize teamwork, build confidence, and for you to assess your own 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.

Schedule & Duration

  • 6-8 Hours
  • Months of operation: April – July
  • Trip Arrival Time: 8:00 am.
  • Trip Departure time: 8:30 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 class V participants must be physically fit, good swimmers, and have previous class IV experience
  • A Class V Paddlers Evaluation is required prior to running class V whitewater
  • Wetsuits are required on all class V trips
  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must weigh between 50 and 300 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: 25 guests

Additional Information

  • A hearty river-side deli lunch is served mid-day
  • This run is highly sensitive to high or low water conditions. Please contact us for up-to-the-minute water conditions.
  • All of our Southern California whitewater rafting 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