Why Choose Us

Kern River Outfitters has been outfitting on the Kern river since 1980. We care about running great trips – this means we focus on having excellent guides, serving delicious food, keeping our equipment in top-shape, and even offering a low water guarantee – we won’t run trips if the water gets too low.

  • Our trips get rave reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook and Google+
  • We’ve been written about in the LA Times, San Diego Tribune, Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and even the New York Times.
  • Our guides are fun, interesting, and family friendly.
  • We care about out equipment being the best. No old, leaky boats with our outfit.
  • We have simple, easy to use online reservations. You can book your vacation in two minutes from your phone.
  • We’re the only company to offer online waivers. No printing and faxing release forms.
  • We’re the only company that keeps your photos online, so you don’t have to purchase them right away and you can view them anytime.
  • We’re the only company that doesn’t charge for wetsuits when required. No extra fees for necessary equipment with KRO.

  • Our camp has the best placement in the Lower Kern canyon: Day 1 and 2 are evenly divided so you’ll spend the perfect amount of time on the water each day. No short or very long days.
Laughing at the bottom of Betty's Bakery rapid, Upper Kern

Why the Kern River?

Why does the Kern River have the best rafting in California? It comes down to location, variety of trips, and length of season. The Kern river is the closest river to Southern California by hundreds of miles, and hours of drive time. In terms of variety, the Kern river offers it all. Mellow class II to class-V, as well as two hour long trips to two day long adventures. Finally, with a season that typically gets well into August, our rafting season stretches far into summer, unlike other rivers in California.

CityKern RiverSouth Fork of the American RiverTuolumne River
Los Angeles3 Hours, 174 Miles7 Hours, 447 Miles7 Hours, 346 Miles
San Diego5 Hours, 276 Miles9 Hours, 450 Miles8 Hours, 450 Miles
Santa Barbara3 Hours, 190 Miles8 Hours, 435 Miles7 Hours, 370 Miles
Las Vegas5 Hours, 300 Miles10 Hours, 550 Miles8 Hours, 450 Miles

2017 Big Water Protocol

Since 1980 we’ve had standards in place for running high water. Learn more about this season’s big water and what our Big Water Protocol means. Trip safety is our number one priority, always, and our Big Water Protocol helps ensure that.