US Whitewater > California > Kern River



California whitewater, Kern River

Tulare Kern county, Johnsondale Bridge to Powerhouse #3 section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS III-V     17 miles
the river is rough. many rapids. Says bob reall

The put-in location is a short drive from Bakersfield, please print out a copy of the road map further down the page so you won’t get lost. This section of Kern River in California is 17 miles long and has been rated as a class III-V section by American Whitewater. There are campgrounds quite near the river where you can camp. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking this is an area
    with plenty of rivers for that. The wonderful Tulare/ Kern County scenery and the water flowing gracefully down Kern River will make you feel great. The beauty of the Southern Sierra Nevada is a great plus for this river.
The Johnsondale Bridge to Powerhouse #3 stretch is one of many paddling stretches in this river system. You might have to settle for a hotel a bit away from the river if you want to stay the night, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. If you hurry you can run this stretch in a day but why not make it an overnighter, so go ahead and pack your camping stuff. Whitewater rafting and kayaking spots in this state  
tend to be more challenging than the national average, so better not forget that many of the sections here are not safe for beginners. Getting your paddling muscles activated and a chance to spend some time outdoors will make you glad you came.

Briefly about the general area:
Go for a hike on the Tobias Creek Trail, and this is a popular location for people from Kernville. Yeah, come up here to the Southern Sierra Nevada for a good time. Nearby Ant Canyon is a pleasant place to go if you're at Kern River, and splendid hiking is available along the Bull Run Cattle Drive.

Kern River, Johnsondale Bridge to Powerhouse #3 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/ Kern County, 5 miles away
      Class III-V - 17 miles long (Johnsondale Bridge to Powerhouse #3)
Brush Creek, tulare County, 5 miles away
      Class V - 1.5 miles long (Rincon Camp to Kern River)
Dry Meadow Creek, Kern County, 7 miles away
      Class V - 1.5 miles long (to North Fork Kern)
Whitewater Outfitter - Eagle Rafting, Kern County, 8 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Sierra South MT Sports, Kern County, 8 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Hyside Inflatables River Trips, Kern County, 9 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Kern River Outfitters, Kern County, 10 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Kern River, Tulare County, 14 miles away
      Class III-V - 16.8 miles long (Forks of Kern to Johnsondale Bridge)
Kern River, Kern County, 14 miles away
      Class II-III - 7 miles long (Lake Isabella to Sandy Flat)
Whitewater Outfitter - Chuck Richard's White Water, Kern County, 15 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
 Ski Areas Near Kern River:
Shirley Meadow, California , 12 miles away, 600 foot drop, 3 lifts, 7 runs
Sierra Summit, California , 89 miles away, 1679 foot drop, 11 lifts, 45 runs
Mt Waterman, California , 98 miles away, 1300 foot drop, 3 lifts, 10 runs
 Marinas Near Kern River:
Reds Kern Valley Marina, Lake Isabella , 13 miles away
French Gulch Marina, Lake Isabella , 15 miles away
 Hotels Near Kern River:
Best Western Porterville Inn, Porterville , 39 miles away
Americas Best Value Inn Porterville, Porterville , 39 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites PORTERVILLE, Porterville , 39 miles away
The Gateway Restaurant, Three Rivers , 42 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites TEHACHAPI HWY 58/MILL ST., Tehachapi , 42 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Kern River:
Ant Canyon, Kernville, 1 miles away
Chamise Flat, Kernville, 1 miles away
Gold Ledge Campground, Tulare County, 1 miles away
 Trails Near Kern River:
Tobias Creek Trail, Tulare , 4 miles away, 6.5 hiking miles, 4434 feet elevation difference
Bull Run Cattle Drive, Tulare , 9 miles away, 3.6 hiking miles, 1739 feet elevation difference
Cannell Meadow Trail, Kern , 9 miles away,  21.4 hiking miles, 5112 feet elevation difference
Virginia Trail, Kern , 12 miles away, 4.1 hiking miles, 2879 feet elevation difference
Summit Trail, Tulare , 12 miles away,  51.4 hiking miles, 3514 feet elevation difference
Old Sled Trail, Tulare , 12 miles away, 2.1 hiking miles, 1313 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Kern River:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Three Rivers - CA , 42 miles away
Sequoia National Forest, California , 11 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Kern River:
Kern Valley Golf Course, Kernville , 9 miles away
 Lakes Near Kern River
Isabella Lake, Kern , 14 miles away

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