When water conditions are ideal and a group with prior experience wants to run the biggest rapids, they can book our Thunder Run. This Class IV-V section is famous for some of the biggest drops in California. The Thunder Run is not for first timers or youngsters.
Trip Meeting Place: 6602 Wofford Blvd, Wofford Heights, CA 93285. Google Map.
This trip is great for fit thrill seekers and experienced rafters.
The most challenging section of the Upper Kern is known as the Thunder Run. Screaming Right Turn, Sock-‘em-Dog, and Squashed Paddler are a few of the rapids you’ll find on this Class V stretch of river. Due to the difficult nature of these rapids, we recommend this trip only for people with prior rafting experience.
For safety considerations, we require a trip size of 12 and the appropriate water flows to run the Thunder Run. If your group is less than 12, please call our office and we will book the trip for you. If another party doesn’t book and we fail to reach the minimum trip size, then we will move you to our Full Day Upper Kern.
Arrive at our Rafting Center at 8:30AM 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 this point, each guest completes our Swim and Run Test. This is an evaluation to ensure trip safety. Once complete, your guide 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!
We’ll warm up with some Class-IV and then enter Ant Canyon and the the rest of the Thunder Run. Halfway through the run we’ll take a breather for a hearty lunch, and then head out on the water again. At the conclusion of the trip, we’ll load back up on the bus and head back to our Rafting Center, arriving between 3pm – 5:30pm.
How many people are in each raft? Depending on group size and which boats we use, we fit between 4 and 6 guests in each raft. As often as we can, we try to keep groups together in the same boat too.
Can you accommodate dietary requests? Yes. With adequate advance notice, we can accommodate special diet requests.
How far in advance should I make my reservation? Our trips are limited in size, and we have just one trip per day. Because of this, we highly encourage you to make reservations early.
What’s the minimum age for this trip? At normal water flows, the minimum age is 16 years old.
Can I bring a GoPro or other camera on this trip? Yes, absolutely.
Do you have lodging or camping recommendations for before or after our trip? Yes, we have PDFs for both lodging and camping. Click here to download our Lodging Guide. Click here to download our Camping Guide.
What’s the difference between the Lower and Upper Kern? The biggest difference is that the Lower Kern originates from Lake Isabella and is a regulated flow. This means that we have flows much longer in the season, as the river level is less dependent on run-off.
Who do you recommend for trip insurance? We recommend you supplement personal insurance with travel insurance. Cancellation initiated by you may result in substantial loss of fees paid. Available insurance protects against the loss of deposits/full fare in the event you must cancel because of unforeseen circumstances. If you don’t have a preferred travel insurance company, some options are BHTP and Travel Guard.