“The things we remember aren’t things.”
Day One – Morning
The morning of your trip arrive at our Rafting Center in Wofford Heights at 9:30AM. Check-in with our Rafting Center staff and meet the guides. They will assist you with any questions you may have. “Yes, bring the sunscreen…leave the bluetooth speaker.” Once everyone from the trip has arrived and has checked-in, your Lead Guide will begin the orientation talk with what to expect for the day, as well as hand out and fit helmets and lifejackets. Once suited up, you’ll load onto our bus and we’ll drive you to the put-in.
At put-in, the guides will work on rigging the rafts while the Lead Guide will give the Safety Talk to the trip. Once finished, the Lead Guide will organize the different groups into rafts and you’ll meet your guide. To teach everyone how to paddle together as a team, your guide will give a Paddle Talk. Immediately following the Paddle Talk, the trip launches and each raft practices their paddling technique making sure their boat is ready for the whitewater. By this point the trip is officially underway! We warm up with class II and III rapids before lunch.
Day One – Afternoon
We’ll break for lunch and then tackle our first class IV rapid, White Maidens. Following White Maidens we have three more Class IV rapids: Sundown Falls, Silver Staircase, and Powerful Possum. Our riverside camp is situated just downstream of Powerful Possum. Your Trip Leader will give a camp talk explaining where everything is located (toilets, drinking water, sleeping platforms, etc) as our camp is quite large.
Day One – Evening
The evening is your time to do whatever you like. Sit by the river with a cocktail or cold beverage. Play games such as cornhole, or cards. Kick back with your favorite book. Or even take a nap. Enjoy your time doing whatever you please. Don’t worry about cooking or cleaning as the guides will prepare appetizers and dinner. Before bed make sure you take a minute and look up – you’ll see plenty of stars in the night sky.
Day Two – Morning
Once you’re awake, head down to our kitchen. The guides will have coffee, hot chocolate and tea out as they prepare breakfast. After breakfast we’ll break down camp and load back onto the rafts with the same guide as the day before. This go-around we don’t need to do a Safety Talk and Paddle Talk though, because by this point, we’re well versed in working together as a team. Shortly after pushing off, we run False Flush rapid, and then we stop to do a mandatory portage around Royal Flush, a Class V+/VI rapid. Once back in the water, we have many Class III and IV rapids that are broken up only by another appetizing lunch.
Day Two – Afternoon
Following lunch, we hit a succession of Class-IV rapids known as the Big Five. These include Surprise, Hari Kari, Horseshoe, Sidewinder, and finally, Pinball. After successfully running Pinball, we lazily float for half a mile to Democrat Beach, which is the takeout. At takeout, we load up on the bus and drive back to the Rafting Center.
Back at the Rafting Center, you’ll find your overnight bags from the camp as we shuttled them around while you were out rafting. You’ll have time to view photos that we took of your raft during the trip, and finally, you’ll have a chance to say goodbye to your guide before they prepare for their next trip.
Top Five FAQs Related to this Trip
How many people are in each raft?
Depending on group size and which rafts we use, we fit between 4 and 6 guests in each paddle raft. As often as we can, we try to keep groups together in the same raft too. Oar boats, used exclusively on the Forks of the Kern, may have two guests per boat.
What’s the minimum age for this trip?
During normal water levels, the minimum age for our Two Day Lower Kern is 12 years old. If we enter high flows and go into our Big Water Protocol, then the minimum age is 16 years old.
Can you accommodate dietary requests?
Yes. With adequate advance notice, we can accommodate reasonable diet requests. These can be made when you complete your online waiver.
Is this an exciting trip? I’m a beginner / I’m experienced.
The Lower Kern features Class II, III and IV whitewater. The rapids are considered challenging, fun and manageable. This is a beginner-appropriate trip (nearly every trip we launch typically has someone who has never been) and the whitewater is exciting and spread out where even experienced rafters will have an outstanding time.
What is your camp like?
Our camp is located alongside the river and is private. Meaning only those that are on your trip and the guides have access to it. Scattered up and downstream we have wooden platform decks for sleeping. We provide each guest with a “paco pad” which is a thick sleeping pad to use on top of the decks. Most guests sleep out, underneath the stars as we don’t typically experience any weather during the rafting season. You’re more than welcome to bring your own tent if you would prefer. We raft right up to the camp on day one, and on day two, load directly back onto the rafts and push off, so there are no additional shuttles involved between rafting and camping.
5-Star Lodging? How about 5 Billion-Star Lodging.
We make camping easy, comfortable, and fun.
At our riverside camp we have private sleeping decks around the site and provide every guest with a comfortable, thick mattress. Summer weather on the Kern is warm and you won’t need any special camping gear. If you don’t have a sleeping bag, bring some sheets and a light blanket or rent a freshly laundered sleeping bag from us.