Why Choose Us

Kern River Outfitters has been outfitting on the Kern river since 1980. We care about running great trips – this means we focus on having excellent guides, serving delicious food, keeping our equipment in top-shape, and even offering a low water guarantee – we won’t run trips if the water gets too low.

  • Our trips get rave reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook and Google+
  • We’ve been written about in the LA Times, San Diego Tribune, Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and even the New York Times.
  • Our guides are fun, interesting, and family friendly.
  • We care about out equipment being the best. No old, leaky boats with our outfit.
  • We have simple, easy to use online reservations. You can book your vacation in two minutes from your phone.
  • We’re the only company to offer online waivers. No printing and faxing release forms.
  • We’re the only company that keeps your photos online, so you don’t have to purchase them right away and you can view them anytime.
  • Our camp has the best placement in the Lower Kern canyon: Day 1 and 2 are evenly divided so you’ll spend the perfect amount of time on the water each day. No short or very long days.
Laughing at the bottom of Betty's Bakery rapid, Upper Kern

Why the Kern River?

Why does the Kern River have the best rafting in California? It comes down to location, variety of trips, and length of season. The Kern river is the closest river to Southern California by hundreds of miles, and hours of drive time. In terms of variety, the Kern river offers it all. Mellow class II to class-V, as well as two hour long trips to two day long adventures. Finally, with a season that typically gets well into August, our rafting season stretches far into summer, unlike other rivers in California.

City Kern River South Fork of the American River Tuolumne River
Los Angeles 3 Hours, 174 Miles 7 Hours, 447 Miles 7 Hours, 346 Miles
San Diego 5 Hours, 276 Miles 9 Hours, 450 Miles 8 Hours, 450 Miles
Santa Barbara 3 Hours, 190 Miles 8 Hours, 435 Miles 7 Hours, 370 Miles
Las Vegas 5 Hours, 300 Miles 10 Hours, 550 Miles 8 Hours, 450 Miles

Our 2017 Low Water Guarantee

Our rafting trips are fun. We won’t run trips when we know that low water jeopardizes this. For the 2017 season, we are again offering our Low Water / No Water Guarantee. This guarantee will give you a full, 100% refund, including your deposit, in the event that we have to cancel your rafting trip due to drought or extreme low water.

Low Water Guarantee badge