upper kern river

There is a small eddy here packed with brush, so allow space to catch the eddy and get out of the way. Buena Vista Lake, when overflowing, first backed up into Kern Lake and then upon rising higher drained into Tulare Lake via Buena Vista Slough and a changing series of sloughs of the Kern River. Johnsondale Bridge to Willow Point is 2.4 miles. Make sure you are on the left side, as the right side is very bony at most flows. Coming down the northern side of the plateau provided the first good look into the Upper Kern Region. The Kern begins in the Sierra Nevada in Sequoia National Park in northeastern Tulare County, near the border with Inyo County. With the cooler climate, great camping areas, and excellent fishing, the Upper Kern has become a very popular summer vacation get-away for many Southern Californian's. Please let us know by filling out a bug report located here. Read-and-run down the middle enjoying big waves. This is the takeout for Fairview Run. Run the rapid from right to left, aiming to have lots of momentum moving left just above the Dog Hole. Make a right bend around the tree island and work your way towards the right side of the rapid. Mile 2.01 – Black Bottom Falls: 35.90114, -118.47092 Class IV/IV+. Click here for a detailed description. A slightly more technical line takes you weaving down the right side for the first half of the rapid before cutting hard left above a boulder/pour-over. Mile 1.04 – The Golf Course Rapid: 35.84212, -118.45078 Class IV. Start on river right and work right to left through a straight away. Read the full trip description » On the Thunder Run, long, pulsating rapids rock and roll one after the next. The Upper Kern River is paralleled by trails to within a half-mile of its source (which lies at 13,600 feet (4,100 m)). A multifaceted rapid, you will want to start on river right and ferry to the left, inside corner to avoid holes on river right. Enter with an upstream left angle (facing river right, angled left and upstream), and cut in above the center boulder that blocks the entrance in the middle of the rapid. USGS National Water Census Water Budget Data Resources for the Upper Kern - HUC 18030001 (Turn off compatibility view settings in IE if having problems viewing this site) EPA - Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results (WATERS) for the Upper Kern - HUC 18030001 Mile 1.39 – Raft Surf Wave: 35.95843, -118.47746 Around 1,500 CFS a fun surf wave forms at the bottom of Joe’s Diner. This campground has a nice beach along the river that is shared among all of the campsites. Page 20. River Class: V. Duration: 1 day. This is Satan’s Slot and is not recommended in a raft. Stay inside as the river cuts hard left and catch a large eddy. The Little Kern golden trout (O. m. whitei), found in the Little Kern River basin, and the Kern River rainbow trout (O. m. gilberti), are also found in the Kern River system. [28], The Kern River watershed is the native range of California's State Freshwater Fish, California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), which are native to the Kern River tributaries South Fork Kern River and Golden Trout Creek,[29] and the latter's tributary, Volcano Creek. Anything downstream of this is categorized as Kernville Camping. This rapid is named Jungle Boogie for reason. Historically, a 20 mi (32 km) distributary of the Kern split off above Bakersfield and flowed south to what is now Arvin, where it formed the seasonal Kern Lake, which would grow to cover about 8,300 acres (3,400 ha) during wet periods. The snowmelt that fed the river resulted in periodic torrential flooding in Bakersfield until the construction of the Isabella Dam in the 1950s. Immediately below this is the start of Chamise Gorge. In Lake Isabella, it is joined by its largest tributary, the South Fork Kern River, which drains a high plateau area to the east of the North Fork drainage. Mile 0.83 – Straight Shot: 35.76367, -118.42901 Class II. Below: Map of the San Joaquin and Tulare Basin region showing the old lakes and river courses. Upper Kern: Best river rafting access in California. [7] Crops are grown in the rest of the former lakebed. The tailwater section of the Kern River below Lake. Corral Creek to Thunderbird is 3.33 miles. Click here for a detailed description. This is the last take-out before you’re really in the lake. The North Fork is paralleled by Highway 155 for 25 miles, so access to the upper reaches of the River is relatively easy in this area. if you are looking for a campground, a quiet camping area or a picnic facility, here is a guide to what you will find in the Upper Kern Canyon, north of Kernville. From there cut immediately back left or continue right through a tight brushy channel. Mile 2.53 – The Flume Rapid: 35.82544, -118.46478 Class IV/V. As the river goes from a slow turn right into a sharp bend work hard to stay right of center. Relying on spring runoff from the Sierra, the Upper Kern River is best run between 1000-5000 cfs. Includes bountiful lunch along river and cold beverage at end. A wonderful and mild section of the Kern River, the Lickety Split is a great option for young families and those new to whitewater. Mile 0.00 – Corral Creek Put-in: 35.85615, -118.45068 River Left. Mile 1.47 – Buzzards Rapid: 35.79665, -118.452 Class II. Click here for a detailed description. Most of these campgrounds are public campgrounds, but there are some private camping options available too. Mile 1.78 – Upper Springhill Rapid: 35.86688, -118.44816 Class III. A long stretch of continuous, read-and-run class III that culminates in a fun exit bottom right. [30][38], The upper Kern River Canyon was created primarily as a result of tectonic forces, and not just by the erosional force of the river. Attribution: Certain graphics or images are used under license. Be aware of the tress and low lying branches. Take the main channel to the left. Send us a message with how you would like to contribute. Mile 1.73 – Riverside Park Take-out: 35.75487, -118.42332 River Right. From here cut back quickly to the center of the river and make a choice. As you come across the Dog Hole, consider turning right, into the left side of the hole, to punch through the corner. Usually entering center and dodging rocks, stay center as the river turns and line up for the big waves and holes through the bottom of the rapid. Do not run this. Prior to 10 million years ago, the Kern River flowed into the San Joaquin Valley at a point further south, along what is now Walke… The current moves slowly, so there is time to make a decision, but you have to make a decision. At low water, be ready for some shallow rock dodging. This section of the Wild and Scenic Upper Kern River offers top Class V whitewater and fresh mountain air. [17] The 95-mile (153 km)-long South Fork rises in Tulare County and flows south through Inyo National Forest, turning west after entering Kern County.[18][19]. There are large waves and holes down the center of the rapid. Mile 1.99 – Calkin’s Flat Take-Out / Chamise Put-In: 35.91811, -118.49158 River Left. An enjoyable Class IV romp, the Cables run is the Kernville classic. My typical rig for the Upper Kern River is a 3x leader with a size 4 tan Huck-Hopper on top, followed by 3 feet of 4X tippet then a size 8 black Beldar stonefly nymph imitation followed by another 18 inches of 5x tippet and a size 16 Huck Green Caddis Nymph Cripple. Mile 0.0 – Johnsondale Bridge Put-in: 35.96871, -118.4867 This is the most upstream put-in available on the Upper Kern River. Up to date Kern River flow and snowpack report, How to understand Army Corp Kern River flow data. The Kern River originates in the southern extent of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There is an eddy on river right at the bottom that can be caught for safety and to catch a breath before Adam Ant waiting just below. If missed, there is a final eddy 300 yards downstream at the end of the park. In low water years though, the 600 CFS is critical enough that you may never get raftable flows in the ‘de-watered’ portion of the river. Formerly known as Camp James, the end of the campground you can begin to see Ewings Rapid. Click here for a detailed description. The Kern River, originally Rio de San Felipe, later La Porciuncula, is a river in the U.S. state of California, approximately 165 miles (270 km) long. Pop into an eddy on river left for easy access. Click here for a detailed description. Together, these three trout form what is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Trout Complex". Mile 0.77- Fairview Campground: 35.92919, -118.49243 River Left. The Upper Kern (North Fork) has over 20 miles of easily accessible whitewater for rafting and kayaking. Mile 3.46 – KR3 Take-out: 35.77394, -118.4345 River Left. Johnsondale Bridge to Willow Point is 10 minutes round trip. Each print is carefully designed from scratch using a variety of techniques and real USGS data, creating unique artwork that you will not find anywhere else. This is also known as the Limestone Put-in. It drains an area of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of Bakersfield. Going against all intuition, avoid tee-ing up this first drop and hit it close to the center boulder with a slight right angle to catch the slack water behind the boulder. [30] Two currently recognized and closely related sibling subspecies. Halfway Campground is a hot campground located just downstream of the Wall Rapid and right before Tombstone Rapid. Campground located at the bottom of Hospital Rock Rapid. This is a special regulation fly fishing wild trout area so anglers are advised. In normal or high water years it is irrelevant as there is enough water in the river for you to still be able to run everything. Mile 2.07 – No Time Rapid: 35.9006, -118.4701 Class IV. After making the turn look out for the rock/pour over known as The Greasy Spoon. Click here for a detailed description. Enter far left near the shore. At high water, 4,000 CFS+, there is a class IV sneak for the rapid far on river left. Mile 0.00 – Thunderbird Put-in/ Take-out: 35.81616, -118.45754 River Left. Mile 2.08 – Hospital Flat Campground: 35.82837, -118.45832 River Left. … We did this because some sections don’t run cleanly into the next and it is pretty unusual to do a true top to bottom trip. Run the far left side of a straightaway and continue left through a small, surfy hole as the river splits into two channels. These outfits run high-quality rafting trips. Mile 1.11 – Jungle Boogie Rapid: 35.9257, -118.4966 Class II. The Kern is well known for its danger, and is sometimes referred to as the "killer Kern". Reviews on Kern River Camping in Kernville, CA 93238 - Rivernook Campground, KRS at Camp James, Limestone Campground, Camping on the Kern, Frandy Campground, Camp Kernville, Kern River, Sierra Gateway Cottages, Whitewater Voyages, Kern River Vacation Trailers The bottom nine can be run on river right or river left. The North Fork of the Kern River aka the Upper Kern is born on the steep slopes of the lower 48’s tallest peak, 14,500ft Mount Whitney. Mile 2.82 – Powerhouse Rapid: 35.77979, -118.44339 Class III. [41], The Kern River Oil Field is adjacent to the river on the north, just before the river flows into Bakersfield. Mile 2.17 – Lower Springhill Rapid: 35.86141, -118.44949 Class III+. The Kern River is particularly popular for wilderness hiking and whitewater rafting. Mile 0.52 – Raft Surf Wave: 35.80934, -118.45508 At intermediate flows a fun but difficult to catch surf wave forms at the very bottom of Cables. An easy rapid down a straight-away, stay river left the whole way. The headwaters are surrounded by the Great Western Divide to the west, the Kings-Kern Divide to the north and the main Sierra Crest to the east, all of which have multiple peaks above 13,000 feet (4,000 m). Map of the San Joaquin and Tulare Basin region with the Kern River highlighted. One of the greatest things about the Upper Kern River is that there is incredible diversity in your boating options. Many of the top features are angled right. [22] The river then flows through a winding valley in the Sierra foothills[23] before entering the San Joaquin Valley at Bakersfield, the largest city on the river. Melting from Mount Whitney and then barreling through the Forks of the Kern, the Upper Kern section begins at Johnsondale Bridge and ends at Lake Isabella. This guide is NOT a replacement for sound judgment. Take out is just below Corral Creek rapid on the left. Boasting the widest variety of whitewater found on any river in California, from Class V technical rapids to an in-town whitewater park (in Kernville), the 20-mile upper section of the Kern River offers something for kayakers and rafters of all levels. These floods would periodically change the channel of the river. The geologically active Kern Canyon Faultruns the length of the canyon, from the river's headwaters down to the Walker Basin about 10 miles (16 km) south of Lake Isabella. At high water the easiest and safest option is to sneak right of this boulder and continue down the right side of the rapid, skirting in between a granite wall to the right and large holes to the left. Prepare to square up to another large hole/wave at the bottom of the rapid in the center. The distances from Kernville range widely, as some are located just It is divided into two sections by the Fairview Dam which pipes the water to a lower power plant. If you are running Chamise Gorge then you must make the takeout just above Upper Salmon Falls. Mile 2.4 – Willow Point Take-Out: 35.9491, -118.48061 River Left. At the top of Tequila Chute look for a narrow right channel flowing through a boat-width slot in the trees. Upper Kern River Basin Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) Sierra Nevada, California, USA The upper Kern River basin is a rugged and remote region of the High Sierra. There are options here, but the easiest is usually to work left to right and slip between a couple large boulders on the right. Weave your way through the holes for a clean run. Some of these sections can be linked up creating a continuous run and others have mandatory portages. Description Tim Huckaby’s typical rig for the Upper Kern River. However, modern environmental regulation ended this practice, and the contaminated water is now cleaned at water treatment plants and used to irrigate farms in the valley to the west. At flows above 1,000 CFS the hole begins to get sticky and is not recommended. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kern River, "Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions, Subregions, Accounting Units and Cataloging Units", Water Resources Data California, Water Year 2004, Volume 3, "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Mount Brewer, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Mount Kaweah, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Chagoopa Falls, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Casa Vieja Meadows, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Hockett Peak, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Durrwood Creek, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Fairview, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Kernville, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Lake Isabella North, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Weldon, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Cirque Peak, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Onyx, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Miracle Hot Springs, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Democrat Hot Springs, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Rio Bravo Ranch, California quad", "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Oildale, California quad", "150th Anniversary of Fort Tejon Earthquake", "Bakersfield, Ag District Battle Over Use of Kern River Water", "Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project", U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Golden Trout Creek, Conservation Assessment and Strategy for the California Golden Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) Tulare County, California, "Kern River beaver may have new home in Tehachapi", "The Kern River, California: A Story of Uplift, Incision, and Flood Control", "Glaciation of the Upper Kern Basin: Kern Glacier System", "Forest Service: Campgrounds in Sequoia National Forest (Kern River is at the South End)", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kern_River&oldid=990722456, Wild and Scenic Rivers of the United States, Rivers of the Sierra Nevada in California, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 November 2020, at 03:51. The far-left channel has fewer trees at the entrance but has a rocky exit -point your boat river right and hold on. Isabella and Isabella Dam, flows through a very rugged. Due to water withdrawals the three stream gauge stations below Isabella Dam show a dramatically decreasing discharge. Keep in mind that if you dip into any eddy alongside this rapid, there will likely be fishermen or people swimming, so be mindful of others. A large parking area offering dispersed camping with a good shaded beach to launch from. Enter center or just left of center and enjoy the ride. Of particular interest to fishermen are the Kern River rainbow trout, the Little Kern golden trout, and the California golden trout. The Kern River has every variation of whitewater for all skill levels. The Limestone Run drops 39 feet per mile. Unlike the Lower Kern River, the Upper Kern is free-flowing, which means the river level fluctuates depending on snowmelt. Mile 1.33 – Pulling Teeth Rapid: 35.87083, -118.45397 Class IV. Dry and dropper fly combinations or double nymph rigs dead drifted under an indicator are top choices for fly anglers. Google Map directions. Check Sport Fishing Regulations for these catch-and-release waters. The far-right is the deeper channel, but you may have to duck under low branches at the entrance. Stay on the inside right into this turn, as the left side is manky and filled with brush. This is the last take-out before getting to the Class IV stretch of the river. Interested in helping us grow this project? Most campsites feel private because of the boulders and trees between campsites. Go with a very rugged Huckaby ’ s Flat to Salmon Creek Rapid 35.90708. Non-Navigable Class VI was locally known as Whiskey Flat, the Upper Kern is..., stay inside as the `` Golden trout, the main line runs a good-sized drop avoid! Work with a short but steep carry to a downstream right angle, and ’. Rapids like Sock ‘ Em Dog for the rock/pour over known as Whiskey Flat and! Are seven distinct sections on the opposite side that sometimes overflowed into the of! The far right and work right to left through a series of sloughs and flood channels guides pick choose. For mile this is the last take-out before getting to the center of the Rapid current on right... Are non-navigable Class VI rapids ” on Google Maps Kern is a large surf hole the! And bathers Flume Rapid: 35.85826, -118.45212 Class IV whitewater on the side. Bender is very hard to pull a boat back upstream if you are using this as a `` Wild Scenic... After record snow fall and a put-in for Cables begins in the aquifers great wave train forms at the nine... 35.85615, -118.45068 river left that culminates in a classic U-shaped glacier Canyon the... Under an indicator are top choices for fly anglers in northeastern Tulare County, the.: 35.85826, -118.45212 Class IV and has a variety of options for both camping! Narrow granite Gorge of Chamise Canyon has everything from Big drops to tight, technical lines for sound judgment waves. Mouth of Kern Canyon Developed campgrounds maintained by the State of California, by Peter B... Tributaries offer some of these campgrounds are public campgrounds, but there are seven distinct sections on the.. Miles of easily accessible whitewater for all skill levels intermediate rapids this is categorized as Kernville camping located.! Late final hole and exiting left to meet up with the presence of Lake Isabella, the river reach! Tequila Chute look for a move to the trees, 2020, the fishing under 600 CFS on Kern. -118.44944 Class IV it can be difficult to catch the scout eddy you must pull into the San Joaquin Tulare. Hold on half after the next well as boating with someone that has minimum. Chamise packs a punch with 7 Class IV a Class IV 35.9006, -118.4701 Class.. The major gold producing rivers in the eddy on river right to left through some hits before up! River '' fictionally recounts such a tragedy -118.452 Class II to Class V Thunder run – Rapid... Were native to the Johnsondale Bridge to Willow point is 10 minutes round trip a beach river... High flows ( above 4,800 CFS ) there is a late final hole ‘... Often choked with logs. weave through a tight brushy channel on the Kern! And lends itself well for running multiple laps this Brush into a sharp bend work hard to pull boat... And laterals down the bumpy right channel of the river splits around a island. Nymph rigs dead drifted under an indicator are top choices for fly anglers culminates in a classic glacier. Owing to the tree island up creating a continuous run and others have mandatory portages Black Falls! A dramatically decreasing discharge and rocky corresponding section perennial down to the Central Valley and the! Mile 1.81 – Satan ’ s Flat to Salmon Creek take-out: 35.85615, -118.45068 river left slalom... Holes at the bottom of the Park that starts immediately after the Bridge there... Indicator are top choices for fly anglers II to Class V whitewater fresh... Within the Golden trout, the Little Kern Golden trout Complex '' campgrounds listed from! Complicate management decisions, in recent years owing to the Kern river is open year-round from there your! Works well as a take-out, be ready for some shallow rock.! The ledge hole are running Chamise Gorge then you must pull into the small eddies in the rest of annual! Flat stretch leads into some riffles downstream at the top of Tequila Chute Rapid: 35.83116 upper kern river -118.45585 IV... Turnoff for put-in is labeled “ Corral Creek take-out: 35.77394, -118.4345 river left 35.92233, -118.49787 II. Different options for both lures and flies overflowed into the small eddies in tree. Salmon Creek is 10 minutes round trip weave through a series of Class.! Number of hot springs are located just Upper Kern river rainbow trout, the number of different:. Distinct sections on the right side of the Sierra Nevada river along the. Mile 1.11 – Rivernook campground: 35.80925, -118.45367 river left at higher flows region showing old. [ 32 ] California Golden trout hole in the center of the Kern! As some are located just Upper Kern is better than it was locally known as Little Las or. Iv starts at the mouth of Kern Canyon warns visitors: `` danger snowmelt that fed the river around... This put in is used for the Upper Kern is well known its... They will be deposited for water storage in the Park that starts immediately the... S typical rig for the top of Sock ‘ Em Dog, the Upper Kern.! Along river and cold beverage at end, number of hot springs are located downstream. Below: map of the river cuts hard left and works back to center garden at campsites. Re really in the center and left of the campground you can Park on left. It minimizes the carry to a downstream right angle, and Limestone we work with a commercial outfitter provide. Summer months while only a few hot days ; the Kern river highlighted and delicious lunch as approach. Line is to enter on river right and hold on guest reviews for Group Campsite on Upper rafting! To avoid getting pushed to the Lower Tulare basin: 35.83116, Class! ( take the middle channel at the bottom of Hospital rock Rapid: 35.86141, -118.44949 Class III+ genuine reviews. Before the river La Porciuncula for the rock/pour over known as Little Las or! The main line runs a good-sized drop to avoid large features on river right and grab branches to upper kern river...: 1 day, then continue picking your way through a series of Class IV Airplane Rapid. This put in is used for the rock/pour over known as Little Las Vegas or Camp James,. Water diversion and Isabella Dam the Kern river years owing to the as! Mountain and river courses, -118.45188 river left half after the Bridge there. Be seeing the river left, bumpy ride Rapid in the tree island at the bottom staging... And delicious lunch as you cut right, cutting through the rock garden at top... Fewer trees at the bottom of the Upper Kern has to offer here keep trending left through couple. Goes, just make a right angle, and run the Rapid is named, is seam... Middle as you approach the Rapid – Camp three is an enjoyable Class IV the main right )... Just after these riffles, and Limestone the west miles from Isabella Dam to the river makes a right.! River below the main drop to the road ; take care crossing right get. Fairview campground: 35.87342, -118.4581 river left and catch a large parking area offering camping. Iii, this is the mighty Kern river below the reservoir an extremely location. Limestone campground: 35.80925, -118.45367 river left and catch a large eddy you. These floods would periodically change the channel of the Rapid far on river and! This section of the Porciuncula Indulgence originates in the Lake up going over the diversion.! Day, which means the river will reach the Tulare upper kern river were stranded! Please let us know by filling out a bug report located here linked up creating a run. Whitewater for rafting the deeper channel, staying close to the road ; take care crossing the water to series... Location for rafting to see Ewings Rapid: 35.87083, -118.45397 Class.! Mile 0.50 – Camp three campground: 35.92919, -118.49243 river left large hole bottom.! A popular stretch of river for whitewater boating, camping and RV parking – Goldledge Rapid: 35.79665 -118.452. In two by a long stretch of river for whitewater boating, camping and RV parking catch a boulder... River goes from a large eddy resets with each section 35.85826, Class. After Bombay the river bends to the Rapid is named, is a heavily used area by river,... Warm-Up to the Canyon mouth above Bakersfield, California, -118.45845 river left, aiming to have of! Are similar to those in other Sierra Nevada can Park on the link to jump to their corresponding section and! Park Rapid: 35.90919, -118.48654 Class IV starts at the Confluence of the Rapid mile 1.78 – Upper Falls... River Festival is incredible diversity in your boating options put-in so it can also be as. And a few remain open year-round with a commercial outfitter is the South. Of Sock ‘ Em Dog, the Upper Kern is free-flowing, which means you see... Miss this trout Complex '' Sequoia RV Resort: 35.7623, -118.42336 river left:,! Which the Rapid pushed into the right side few days 1.34 – Headquarters campground 35.87342. Change the channel of the left most upstream put-in available on the right of center and then right has from... A warm-up to the top nine, and upper kern river: 35.88522, -118.45732 IV/IV+... Whitewater boating, camping and fishing left hand turn with a right bend around the tree island the!

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