US Whitewater > California > Kern River



California whitewater, Kern River

Tulare county, Junction Meadow to Forks of Kern section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-V+     37 miles
  The Junction Meadow to Forks of Kern section of Kern River in Tulare County is 37 miles long and is according to American Whitewater a class II-V+ section of whitewater. The average California whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit harder to master than those in other states, so if you're not from around here don't forget that quite a few of the sections here are not easy. The starting location is a reasonable drive from Bishop,
    as you can see on the road map further down. A section like this is is of course not run in a single day, perfect for a real wilderness adventure. Great exercise and spending some quality time in nature are great attractions
for lots of people. The campgrounds here at Kern River are pretty good. The beautiful scenery of California and the beautiful way the water current moves down the stream make the trip here worthwhile. This river system is full of great paddling sections, the Junction Meadow to Forks of Kern section is just one of them. When you're paddling down a Southern Sierra Nevada river like this one you always get great scenery along the way too.  
You might be into whitewater rafting or kayaking or both, doesn't matter, around here you'll find a large number of good spots. The nearby hotels are a bit away from the river, and if you make reservations in advance you're all set.

Briefly about the general area:
A short tour to Soda Spring is always worthwhile, and nearby you find the Sawtooth Pass Trail which is a fine hiking trail. Not enough hours in a day to enjoy the Southern Sierra Nevada. For the period of the warm days of summer here at Kern River, high temperatures usually reach the 90's, and during the night it cools down to the 60's.

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


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Kern River.
 Whitewater Near Kern River:
Kern River, Tulare County, 13 miles away
      Class II-V+ - 37 miles long (Junction Meadow to Forks of Kern)
Kern River, Tulare County, 13 miles away
      Class III-V - 16.8 miles long (Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge)
Dry Meadow Creek, Kern County, 20 miles away
      Class V - 1.5 miles long (to North Fork Kern)
Kern River - South Fork, Tulare County, 21 miles away
      Class V - 17 miles long (Monache Meadows to Kennedy Meadows)
Brush Creek, tulare County, 22 miles away
      Class V - 1.5 miles long (Rincon Camp to Kern River)
Kern River, Tulare/ Kern County, 22 miles away
      Class III-V - 17 miles long (Johnsondale Bridge to Powerhouse #3)
Kaweah River - Middle Fork, Tulare County, 25 miles away
      Class V - 4.8 miles long (Hospital Rock)
Kern River - South Fork, Tulare County, 28 miles away
      Class III-V+ - 22 miles long (Kennedy Meadows to Long Valley)
Kaweah River, Tulare County, 29 miles away
      Class IV-V - 3 miles long (Above Gateway Bridge to Dinley Bridge)
 Ski Areas Near Kern River:
Shirley Meadow, California , 37 miles away, 600 foot drop, 3 lifts, 7 runs
Sierra Summit, California , 70 miles away, 1679 foot drop, 11 lifts, 45 runs
Mammoth Mountain, California , 82 miles away, 3100 foot drop, 27 lifts, 156 runs
June Mountain, California , 91 miles away, 2580 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
 Hotels Near Kern River:
Comfort Inn Lone Pine, Lone Pine , 28 miles away
Best Western Plus Frontier Motel, Lone Pine , 29 miles away
The Gateway Restaurant, Three Rivers , 29 miles away
Comfort Inn & Suites Sequoia Kings Canyon, Three Rivers , 34 miles away
Sequoia River Cabins, Three Rivers , 34 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Kern River:
Willow Meadows Campground, Tulare County, 7 miles away
Cottonwood Pass Trail - Rocky Basin Lake, Lone Pine, 9 miles away
Pacific Crest Trail Trailcamp 760.5 - Rock Creek, Lone Pine, 10 miles away
 Trails Near Kern River:
Sawtooth Pass Trail, Tulare , 11 miles away,  20.4 hiking miles, 4737 feet elevation difference
Mount Whitney Trail, Inyo , 16 miles away,  13.2 hiking miles, 6687 feet elevation difference
Hockett Meadows Trail, Tulare , 17 miles away,  20.2 hiking miles, 1421 feet elevation difference
Atwell Hockett Trail, Tulare , 17 miles away,  17.2 hiking miles, 3021 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Kern River:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Three Rivers - CA , 32 miles away
Sequoia National Forest, California , 16 miles away
 Lakes Near Kern River
Tamarack Lake, Tulare , 16 miles away
Moose Lake, Tulare , 20 miles away

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