Please note: This post was written by Luther Stephens and was imported from our former blog platform. It has been kept for archival purposes.
When it comes to California rafting trips, the Lower Kern River is a tough place to beat. This year in particular, the Lower Kern River will be the best place in all of California to find plenty of water, great rapids, and a superb value for your vacation dollars.
The Lower Kern River is fed by Lake Isabella, a reservoir surrounded by the towns of Kernville, Wofford Heights, and, of course, the town of Lake Isabella itself. As of April 18, the reservoir is storing roughly 156,482 acre-feet of water. The Lower Kern River rafting “season” is determined by the amount of water held in Lake Isabella and at what rate it is released (which is referred to in Cubic Feet per Second).
If 156,482 sounds like a big number, that’s because it is. A recent water forecast projected that the reservoir will see an additional 270,000 acre-feet, which brings big smiles to our faces here at KRO headquarters. With that much water, we are hopeful that our Lower Kern River rafting season will last until the third week of August, which would be an excellent season of rafting for us.
California rivers that rely solely on snow melt are going to have shorter seasons than normal because they won’t have the stored-up water to release consistently throughout the summer. These two factors; the Lower Kern River with plenty of water stored and other California rivers with short run-offs combine to make the Lower Kern the obvious destination for river rafting trips in 2009.
The Chinese “Year of the Ox” began February 4th but here in the Kern Valley we’re switching over to “Year of the Lower Kern” in May.