Full Day Upper Kern Rafting Trip

Season: Mid April – June

Our one-day Upper Kern rafting trips offer the best road-accessible class III-IV rafting in California. There are a number of different sections of the Upper Kern River. Our guides pick and choose the best sections each day, which means you will always have a blast. Unlike the Lower Kern River, the Upper Kern is free-flowing, which means the river level fluctuates depending on snow melt.

Trip Meeting Time: 8:30AM

Minimum Age: 9 years old.

Trip Meeting Place: Kern River Outfitters Rafting Center. Google Map.

Trip Packet: Click here to download the Full Day Upper Kern trip packet.

Rates: Starts at $160.

Reservations: Book online here.

For 2016 we are expecting to run trips on the Limestone, Kernville Rapid Run and Cables sections of the Upper Kern river. A typical day may be a run on Cables, then onto the Kernville Rapid Run and then we’ll stop for lunch. After lunch we’ll run up to the Limestone section, run the rapids and then if we have any additional time, maybe go at it again! If more water is available, we may run the Cables, Ant Canyon and others. This trip is by far one of our most popular rafting trips that we offer.

“We did a full day on the Kern today and it was great! Nice class fours and lots of room to float down the river out of the boat…I will definitely be back!”

TripAdvisor review

We break for lunch halfway through the day, which is included in the trip. On most trips, a professional photographer will shoot photos of your boat which will be available for purchase at the conclusion of your trip.

press-writeupsOur Kern trips get talked about a lot. Highlights include National Geographic awarding us as “One of the Best Adventure Companies on Earth” and Men’s Journal naming us a “Top  Guide in the Country“.

We’ve made trip planning incredibly easy for you: First, find and book an available trip using our sophisticated yet simple online reservation system. Then, use this Google Map link to find directions to our Rafting Center and appropriately plan your drive to arrive on time at 8:30AM for the start of the trip. Next, review our Guest Trip Packet, and finally, sign and submit our Electronic Waiver Form. Additionally, for those planning on staying before or after the trip, we have lodging and camping recommendations.

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes. We offer group discounts as well as school, scout and non-profit discounts. Click here to learn more about our discounts available.

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.

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 9 years old.

Can I bring a GoPro or other camera on this trip?

Yes! Take a look at our blogpost with some camera tips.

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 Upper and Lower Kern?

The Upper Kern is a free-flowing river, meaning the water flow is not controlled or regulated by a dam. This section of river then flows into Lake Isabella. The outflow of Lake Isabella is where the Lower Kern begins, which is a dam controlled river. Because the Upper Kern is not regulated, it means that its rafting season begins earlier and also ends earlier than the Lower Kern.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you must cancel your reservation, you may be eligible for a partial refund. Our cancellation policy is firm. We operate under stringent federal regulations which restrict the number of guests per trip and the number of trips per season. We incur substantial expenses before each trip departs. In the event of late cancellations, Kern River Outfitters cannot recover costs, nor can we make refunds. Written cancellation notice received more than 30 days prior to departure will result in a refund of trip fees less $50 per person. Cancellations within 30 days of a trip are nonrefundable. If you must cancel at the last minute, and do not have trip insurance, try to find a friend to take your place.

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.

Below is a summary map of the Upper Kern. Plentiful road access allows us to choose the best sections of river. Please keep in mind that this map includes sections of river not run on our full day Upper Kern trip, including the Thunder Run and Kernville Rapid Run.