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

Guests often ask us what the difference is between the Lower, Upper, and Forks of the Kern prior to making their reservation so we thought it might be nice to give a quick review of each of these fine stretches of river for you.

The Lower Kern is our premier two day overnight river trip. Guests on this trip are treated to more than ten Class 4 rapids and numerous Class 3 stretches over the course of the twenty mile run. Our private campsite, situated about ten miles into the trip, is a large riverside expanse complete with redwood sleeping decks, thick sleeping pads, and a gourmet kitchen where guides prepare some of the best meals you’ll ever eat. It’s the perfect place for groups of families and friends to relax and tell tall tales of the day’s adventure and anticipate the next day’s run. The Lower Kern is uniquely blessed with warm water in the summer and is one of California’s most sought after overnight river trips. The Lower will run through mid-September this year. The minimum age is 9 (12 during high water).

The Upper Kern is an outstanding one day river trip. This stretch of river offers guests unparalleled access to practically limitless Class 4 whitewater. For those looking for an even greater challenge, the Upper has a Class 5 stretch we call “Thunder Run”. The Thunder Run boasts challenging rapids the likes of “Sock ‘em Dog”, “Fender Bender”, “Squashed Paddler” and “The Flume” that are sure to quench the thirst of the most passionate whitewater boater. The Upper is even blessed with a two hour, Class 2 and 3 stretch we call the “Double Lickety Split”. One could not find a more diverse and popular stretch of river anywhere in the country. We expect to run the Upper Kern through mid-August this year. The minimum age on the Upper is 9 (12 during high water) and 16 on the Thunder Run. The Double Lickety Split’s minimum age is 5 (9 during high water).

The Forks of the Kern is a world-class, 20 mile stretch of Class 5 water that offers our guests access to some of the most challenging whitewater in the country. This trip begins in the Golden Trout Wilderness and runs through the designated “Wild and Scenic” stretch of the Kern River. We know of no more scenic, challenging, or rewarding river trip anywhere. Forks trips are usually three days in duration, however some starts are two day trips. We expect to run Forks trips through mid-August this year. The minimum age for the Forks of the Kern is 16.

If you have any questions about any of these trips, feel free to give our office a call at 1-760-376-3370.

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