Full Day Upper Kern

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.

Laughing at the bottom of Betty's Bakery rapid, Upper Kern
Celebrating after running Limestone Rapid, Upper Kern

For 2017, we anticipate running trips on the Limestone, Kernville Rapid Run and Cables sections of the Upper Kern river. These sections offer a great mix of fun, exciting whitewater, and also a chance to catch your breath and enjoy this spectacular river.

Book this Adventure!
Arrive at our Rafting Center at 8:30AM and check-in with our staff. Once everyone has arrived the Trip Leader will give an orientation talk and the guides will hand out and fit personal flotation devices (PFDs) and helmets. Once we’re ready to go, we load up on the bus and head to our first put-in. At the launch point, guests meet their river guide and the guide then gives a Paddle Talk. Immediately following the Paddle Talk, we push off and each raft practices their paddling technique making sure their boat is ready for the whitewater. By this point the trip is officially underway!

Throughout the day, the guides will pick and choose the best sections or river to run.  Our terrific road access means that getting between the different sections is fast and efficient. Halfway through the day we’ll take a break for a deli spread lunch, and then jump right back into the whitewater after. Once we’re done rafting, we’ll drive back to the Rafting Center which is typically between 3pm – 5:30pm.

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.

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 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 $100 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.