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This guide is broken into three sections: the Upper Kern River, Lower Kern River, and Forks of the Kern River. Melting from Mount Whitney and then barreling through the Forks of the Kern, the Upper Kern section begins at Johnsondale Bridge and ends at Lake Isabella. The Upper Kern is well known for two reasons: Plentiful access and a variety of whitewater from Class II to Class V. When the weather warms up the water knob gets turned and the Lower Kern begins to flow. In regular years the season is from May through August. Isabella Lake is relatively shallow, which means that by the time outflow is underway, the water temperature is comfortable and not frigid. Top to bottom this river section is straight forward class II through IV, with one portage around a Class VI, the Royal Flush. When the water is right, the Forks of the Kern presents some of the most scenic, toughest, and fun boating in the West. Unimpeded by dams, the flows are highly variable year to year which makes the season hard to predict as it is snowpack and subsequent melt dependent. However, when the Forks is flowing, the water is clear, cool, and full of big, fun whitewater. Top to bottom this river section contains stout class IV, the occasional class V, and very little downtime.

$9.99

Explore

Available on

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Desktop browser
  • iPad
  • Android tablet
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Included in purchase

This guide is broken into three sections: the Upper Kern River, Lower Kern River, and Forks of the Kern River. Melting from Mount Whitney and then barreling through the Forks of the Kern, the Upper Kern section begins at Johnsondale Bridge and ends at Lake Isabella. The Upper Kern is well known for two reasons: Plentiful access and a variety of whitewater from Class II to Class V. When the weather warms up the water knob gets turned and the Lower Kern begins to flow. In regular years the season is from May through August. Isabella Lake is relatively shallow, which means that by the time outflow is underway, the water temperature is comfortable and not frigid. Top to bottom this river section is straight forward class II through IV, with one portage around a Class VI, the Royal Flush. When the water is right, the Forks of the Kern presents some of the most scenic, toughest, and fun boating in the West. Unimpeded by dams, the flows are highly variable year to year which makes the season hard to predict as it is snowpack and subsequent melt dependent. However, when the Forks is flowing, the water is clear, cool, and full of big, fun whitewater. Top to bottom this river section contains stout class IV, the occasional class V, and very little downtime.

$9.99

Explore

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About Our Partner

In 2020, Matt Volpert, Byron Roos-Collins, and Augie Houlemard joined together to form Gorafting.com . The three launched the project to publish detailed whitewater rafting and kayaking guidebooks for rivers around the globe. By pairing extensive professional guiding and expedition experience with help from industry partners, the Gorafting.com team has created modern guidebooks for many popular rivers. Whitewater excursions, whether single-day or multi-day, involve a significant amount of variables to be run safely, efficiently, and enjoyably. These are the factors that have driven the clear, and information-filled design of Gorafting’s guidebooks. The team is thrilled to partner with FarOut to take their guidebooks offline, and to join FarOut’s expansive community of backcountry enthusiasts. Augie, Byron, and Matt spend most of their free time on river trips—say hello if you see them on the water!

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