This trip is perfect for beginners and experienced rafters.
The Big Five begins near our campground and ends ten miles downstream at Democrat take-out. The name originates from the five Class-IV rapids that are tackled in this section. This trip is a guest favorite, as it is a very active, fun whitewater trip. We break the day up with a riverside lunch, and shortly after, get right back into it with more Class-IV action.
Arrive at our Rafting Center at 8:00AM and check-in with our staff. Once equipped with helmets and PFDs, we drive to our put-in and start the trip. After your guide gives their paddle talk, we almost immediately jump into class III and IV whitewater. Shortly into the morning we portage the Royal Flush (a class-VI rapid) and then break for lunch. Following lunch is where the ‘Big Five’ get its name: Five class IV rapids that lead you to take out.
How many people are in each raft? Depending on group size and which boats we use, we fit between 4 and 6 guests in each raft. As often as we can, we try to keep groups together in the same boat too.
Can you accommodate dietary requests? Yes. With adequate advance notice, we can accommodate special diet requests.
How far in advance should I make my reservation? Our trips are limited in size, and we have just one trip per day. Because of this, we highly encourage you to make reservations early.
What’s the minimum age for this trip? At normal water flows, the minimum age is 12 years old.
Can I bring a GoPro or other camera on this trip? Yes, absolutely.
Do you have lodging or camping recommendations for before or after our trip? Yes, we have PDFs for both lodging and camping. Click here to download our Lodging Guide. Click here to download our Camping Guide.
What’s the difference between the Lower and Upper Kern? The biggest difference is that the Lower Kern originates from Lake Isabella and is a regulated flow. This means that we have flows much longer in the season, as the river level is less dependent on run-off.
Who do you recommend for trip insurance? We recommend you supplement personal insurance with travel insurance. Cancellation initiated by you may result in substantial loss of fees paid. Available insurance protects against the loss of deposits/full fare in the event you must cancel because of unforeseen circumstances. If you don’t have a preferred travel insurance company, some options are BHTP and Travel Guard.