Please note: This post was written by Luther Stephens and was imported from our former blog platform. It has been kept for archival purposes.

The last few weeks have been a winter paradise for alpine skiers and snowboarders in California – and they aren’t the only ones happy with recent storms. Riding in deep powder during the winter months is synonymous with whitewater rafting on rivers full to their banks. Whitewater rafting outfitters are used to looking at winter snow-pack data to determine approximately how much water – and how long – they will have to raft during the spring and summer.

In Southern California, Kern River Outfitters operates on the Lower, Upper, and Forks of the Kern River near Lake Isabella. “The two sources we look at in determining our water outlook are water levels in Lake Isabella and snow-pack in the Kern River drainage,” said Keith “Luther” Stephens, Kern River Outfitters’ general manager. “As of today, both of these are above last year’s numbers, which is very promising.”

Stephens, who has been working on the Kern River for over 25 years and has seen high water, low water, and everything in between, has become a sort of water guru for the Kern River Valley. He says that the snow pack “really is the life and blood of our operations. It’s a solid indicator of how long the rafting season will last.” Although it is too early to predict exactly how long the Kern River rafting season will last, in a recent memo to his guides Stephens wrote that regarding snow levels, “The bottom line is that we are already guaranteed a great runoff for the 2010 rafting season.”

Kern River Outfitters is the premier whitewater rafting outfitter in Southern California. They offer trips ranging in rapid difficulty from Class III to Class V, and trip lengths from half day to three days. The numerous options make Kern River rafting trips suitable for nearly everyone, and the short driving distance from Southern California’s largest cities makes it a popular summer destination. For information about the Kern River or California rafting trips in general, contact Luther Stephens at 1-760-376-3370. Kern River information including 2010 trip schedules is available at

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