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California whitewater, Kern River

Tulare county, Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS III-V     16.8 miles
  The Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge section of Kern River is 16.8 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class III-V section. If you're coming from Bakersfield it's not a long drive at all to the starting location, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. This stretch is long enough for an overnight trip if you take your time, so why not pack your sleeping bag too. The scenic beauty of California and
    the playfulness of the water beats anything. The beautiful Southern Sierra Nevada scenery is an added bonus. If you've been whitewater rafting and kayaking outside California you might find the rivers here a bit more challenging,
so don't forget that many of the rivers here are not very forgiving. There are so many sections to paddle in this river system, the Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge section is just one of many. There arenít any hotels right nearby but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no problem but do book a room before you come because it is a very popular destination. Some people prefer whitewater rafting and some kayaking, either way  
there are lots of good spots for that around here. Getting a good workout and just hanging out with mother nature are great reasons to come. You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground.

Briefly about the general area:
There are nice sites to look at along the Tobias Creek Trail; Cedar Canyon is in the neighborhood, and is a great place. All the outdoors enjoyable things in the Southern Sierra Nevada will keep you coming back again and again. Going for a hike on the Summit Trail is always a great adventure. A visit to Sequoia National Forest revitalizes the spirit.

Kern River, Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.

   

Map
map
Detailed Map


Stats
map
Stats for this river stretch


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Kern River.
 Whitewater Near Kern River:
Dry Meadow Creek, Kern County, 4 miles away
      Class V - 1.5 miles long (to North Fork Kern)
Brush Creek, tulare County, 4 miles away
      Class V - 1.5 miles long (Rincon Camp to Kern River)
Kern River, Tulare County, 5 miles away
      Class III-V - 16.8 miles long (Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge)
Kern River, Tulare/ Kern County, 5 miles away
      Class III-V - 17 miles long (Johnsondale Bridge to Powerhouse #3)
Whitewater Outfitter - Eagle Rafting, Kern County, 17 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Sierra South MT Sports, Kern County, 17 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Hyside Inflatables River Trips, Kern County, 18 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Kern River Outfitters, Kern County, 19 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Kern River - South Fork, Tulare County, 22 miles away
      Class III-V+ - 22 miles long (Kennedy Meadows to Long Valley)
Kern River - South Fork, Tulare County, 22 miles away
      Class V - 17 miles long (Monache Meadows to Kennedy Meadows)
 Ski Areas Near Kern River:
Shirley Meadow, California , 20 miles away, 600 foot drop, 3 lifts, 7 runs
Sierra Summit, California , 82 miles away, 1679 foot drop, 11 lifts, 45 runs
Mammoth Mountain, California , 97 miles away, 3100 foot drop, 27 lifts, 156 runs
 Hotels Near Kern River:
The Gateway Restaurant And Lodge, Three Rivers , 38 miles away
Comfort Inn & Suites Sequoia Kings Canyon, Three Rivers , 38 miles away
Sequoia River Cabins, Three Rivers , 38 miles away
Americas Best Value Inn, Three Rivers , 38 miles away
Americas Best Value Inn Porterville, Porterville , 38 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Kern River:
Lower Peppermint Campground, Tulare County, 2 miles away
Peppermint Campground, Tulare County, 4 miles away
Brush Creek, Kernville, 5 miles away
 Trails Near Kern River:
Summit Trail, Tulare , 9 miles away,  51.4 hiking miles, 3514 feet elevation difference
Tobias Creek Trail, Tulare , 10 miles away, 6.5 hiking miles, 4434 feet elevation difference
Bull Run Cattle Drive, Tulare , 15 miles away, 3.6 hiking miles, 1739 feet elevation difference
Cannell Meadow Trail, Kern , 16 miles away,  21.4 hiking miles, 5112 feet elevation difference
Old Sled Trail, Tulare , 17 miles away, 2.1 hiking miles, 1313 feet elevation difference
Black Mountain Trail, Tulare , 18 miles away, 6.3 hiking miles, 4286 feet elevation difference
Virginia Trail, Kern , 19 miles away, 4.1 hiking miles, 2879 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Kern River:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Three Rivers - CA , 37 miles away
Sequoia National Forest, California , 3 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Kern River:
Kern Valley Golf Course, Kernville , 17 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.