Thunder Run, Class-V

When water conditions are ideal and a group with prior experience wants to run the biggest rapids, they can book our Thunder Run. This Class IV-V section is famous for some of the biggest drops in California. The Thunder Run is not for first timers or youngsters.

Sock 'Em Dog rapid huge hit
Golf Course Rapid, Thunder Run

The most challenging section of the Upper Kern is known as the Thunder Run. Screaming Right Turn, Sock-‘em-Dog, and Squashed Paddler are a few of the rapids you’ll find on this Class V stretch of river. Due to the difficult nature of these rapids, we recommend this trip only for people with prior rafting experience.

Call 1-760-376-3370 to Book
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 this point, each guest completes our Swim and Run Test. This is an evaluation to ensure trip safety. Once complete, your guide 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!

We’ll warm up with some Class-IV and then enter Ant Canyon and the the rest of the Thunder Run. Halfway through the run we’ll take a breather for a hearty lunch, and then head out on the water again. At the conclusion of the trip, we’ll load back up on the bus and head back to our Rafting Center, arriving 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 16 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.

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.