For 2021 we are expecting an Upper Kern season on the Kernville Rapid Run and Limestone sections. Looking for day trips later in the summer? Check out our Camp Run and Big Five Lower Kern rafting trips.

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What to Expect and What to Pack


Arrive at our Rafting Center at 8:45 AM and check-in with our staff. Once everyone has arrived the Trip Leader will give an orientation talk and the guides will hand out and fit personal flotation devices (PFDs) and helmets. Once we’re ready to go, we load up on the bus and head to our first put-in. At the launch point, guests meet their river guide and the guide then gives a Paddle Talk. Immediately following the Paddle Talk, we push off and each raft practices their paddling technique making sure their boat is ready for the whitewater. By this point, the trip is officially underway! First, we’ll paddle the Kernville Rapid Run section, which finishes at Frandy Park. Once we’ve completed that we’ll graduate the group to Class IV and head up the canyon to Limestone.


With Class III under our belt, we’ll tackle the Class IV whitewater of the Limestone section of the Upper Kern. These include Limestone Rapid, Joe’s Diner, and Betty’s Bakery. This segment has class III whitewater sprinkled in as well, making it a favorite canyon of the Upper Kern. After the first lap, we’ll break for a deli spread lunch, and then jump right back into the whitewater with another Limestone segment. Once we’re done rafting, we’ll drive back to the Rafting Center which is typically between 3 pm – 5:30 pm.

Please note: Different sections of the Upper Kern open up or close dependent on river flows. For 2020 we are expecting to be on the Kernville Rapid Run and Limestone section of the Upper Kern. On any Full Day Upper Kern trips we do not run Class V or Class VI whitewater, regardless of river levels.

Upper Kern or Lower Kern?

What’s the difference between all of your one-day rafting trip options? It is true, we offer a lot, and this is a question we get frequently. The Full Day Upper Kern is broken up into different sections of whitewater. We shuttle between these different sections. This shuttling is the most significant difference between the Full Day Upper Kern, and our other day trips. The Upper Kern has plentiful road access, which means we are fast at loading and unloading so the amount of miles on the water is the same as our other day trips.

Which sections will we be rafting on? Sections of the river on the Upper Kern open and close based on water flows. Some sections are only open and fun at lower flows, and other sections are only open at higher flows. Each day is different. Sometimes we loop sections of the river to cut out less exciting rapids, or because the flows only allow us to raft on that particular section. Despite the eccentricity of this, the Upper Kern is usually our guest favorite.

How are they similar? In terms of tangible details, our three full day trips are very similar. They each cover about 10 miles on the water. They all have class II, III and IV rapids of approximately equal quantities. They all have the same lunch. They meet and end at roughly the same time.

What to Expect and What to Pack

Top Five FAQs Related to this Trip

Click here to see additional common questions

My friends booked this trip, how do I join their party?

Once you’ve made your reservation, please call us and we will link your reservation to the other party.

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.

What is your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation and refund policy can be found here.

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.

What’s the minimum age for this trip?

The Full Day Upper Kern has a minimum age of 12 years old.

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