2020 Kern River rafting Season Outlook

We’re finally there. We’re going to open on June 20, 2020. Below is our snowpack summary, trip schedule, and river flow projections.

Snowpack summary

At the beginning of the winter season, storms hammered California creating an excellent base for ski resorts and hints of back to back Big Water rafting seasons. Active weather then remained relatively calm until early March when the storms turned on again. This brought the official April 1 Southern Sierra reading to 45%. Of note, storms continued well past this April first marker, so this measurement is skewed low.

Fortunately for the Kern River, our 2019 Big Water season carried over a full lake. With our 45% snowpack and healthy lake capacity, we are expecting decent flows on the Lower Kern.

45%

Southern Sierra April 1, 2020 Snowpack

Does not account for post 4/1/20 storms

1,857 CFS

Upper Kern, daily average peak.

Occurred on 5/1/2020

1,200 CFS

Lower Kern, estimated future peak

TBD

Trip schedule

We’ll be on the Lower Kern in entirety this season as the Upper and Forks seasons have concluded. We have also decided to not offer our Two Day Lower Kern this season due to our delayed start.

River flow projections

We are projecting flows north of 800 CFS on the Lower Kern from June through the latter part of July. From there flows will begin tapering off and eventually leveling around 450 CFS sometime in August. Once we hit the lower flows we’ll focus on our Class II and III trips.