Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Join Us on the Lower Kern this Labor Day Weekend

Here is a photo of a some happy folks who just came off our Lower Kern trip this afternoon. We still have a few spaces for one and two day trips this weekend. Our last half day Lower on Labor Day also has 10 spaces available. Summer is not over yet. You still have an opportunity to get your whitewater fix before fall sets in. If you would like more information on our trips, feel free to give our reservations office a call at 1-800-323-4234 and we'll save a seat for you and your family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunshine and Fun on the Lower Kern River

The Lower Kern is still running at a great level. Pictured above is a group of happy rafters celebrating after running Hari Kari Rapid on the Lower. With water temperatures close to 70 degrees and beautiful, sunny days, August could be the best time of the year to enjoy either a one or two day Lower Kern trip. There is still some space available for this upcoming Saturday (8/21) departure. If you'd like more information on one of these trips, feel free to give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234. We are here to help and happy to assist you plan your visit to the Kern River Valley this year.

Powerful Possum Rapid, Lower Kern

Don't miss out on the fun. There is still time to plan the rafting trip of a lifetime. 1-800-323-4234

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower Offers Stunning Show for Lower Kern Overnight Guests

Guests on our Lower Kern overnight trips will be treated to a spectacular show when gazing at the stars overhead over the next couple of weeks. The Perseid Meteor Showers will be at their peak this evening and will offer stargazers a brilliant light show all through the night. The shooting stars are expected to light up the night sky once or twice a minute throughout the evening.

Although the peak is expected this evening, above average shooting star activity can be expected throughout the month of August. If you can't make it up to the river where the conditions are ideal, take a moment to step out tonight wherever you are and see if you can catch a glimpse of this event.

Better yet, join us for a Two Day trip on the Lower Kern this month and accent an outstanding river trip with one of Mother Natures most spectacular night sky shows.

For more information, give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Outstanding Lower Kern Flows Continue

The Lower Kern continues to offer outstanding water flows as we approach mid-August and head into September. The photo above is of guide Bridget Murphy and her crew as they rounded the bend and took aim at Horseshoe Falls rapid on the Lower a few days ago. With flows expected to exceed 2000cfs (cubic feet per second) tomorrow, the Lower Kern will provide whitewater enthusiasts the best rafting conditions of any river in California.

Our plush camp on the Lower Kern is the perfect place to spend the evening under the stars in anticipation of your next day on the water. If you can't join us for an overnight trip, we may be able to get you on either the first or second day of this spectacular run. Take a look at our Lower Kern map for some photos of the rapids and popular landmarks.

If you would like information on rafting the Lower Kern, feel free to give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clear Skies Return To The Kern River Valley

Photo by Brett Duxbury:
The "Bull Fire" that raged through the Upper Kern Canyon only a couple of days ago has moved away from the Kern Valley. This photograph, taken a few hours ago, clearly shows the area north of Kernville scarred by the blaze.

Contrary to recent reports, the sky above is crystal clear and beautiful. Although this fire is still burning in the back country, the Kern River Valley's picture perfect blue sky has returned. Nature's recovery efforts are already in full swing and our trips on the Lower Kern River are running uninhibited by the recent event. Still flowing at levels around 2,000cfs, the Lower Kern is the perfect place to spend a couple of days with friends and family. The water's great, the air is clear, and the scenery is fabulous. Call 1-800-323-4234 to check for availability and reserve your seat in our whitewater playground.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kern Valley's "Bull Fire" Moving North; Rafting Trips Unaffected by Fire

The "Bull Fire" that started just over 48 hours ago in the Bull Run Creek drainage adjacent to the Upper Kern River has moved north and away from the towns of Kernville and Riverkern. Although the residents of these two communities seem to be safe from the immediate threat, the community of Fairview is now in the cross hairs of the fire. With a little luck, and a lot of hard work from the men and women fighting the fire, Fairview will be spared.

Although this fire has caused some logistical changes, it hasn't caused any problems for folks running our Lower Kern trips. The water is better than ever on the Lower Kern and folks are having a blast on the river. The smoke caused by the first day of the fire has already cleared from the Kern Valley.

Here are some photographs of the amazing men, women and machines that offer lightening quick response when fire threatens. Our hats are off to all of them.

Line up of fire trucks in Kernville

"Sky Crane" helicopter scoping the scene

Water Bomber pulling up after a drop

Helicopter making the drop

Bridget and crew having a great time today on the Lower Kern River

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Outfitter Provides Comfortable Camping Options on Multi-Day Kern River Rafting Trips

Kern River Outfitters’ Campground on the Lower Kern River is a Far Cry From “Roughing It”

If it’s the “camping” part of a multi-day rafting trip that has deterred you from enjoying one of California’s best whitewater river trips, Kern River Outfitters has the solution. With a luxurious campground located approximately halfway down the twenty mile section of river rafted on their two-day trips, Kern River Outfitters provides customers with amenities that make the camping experience a far cry from “roughing it”.

Kern River Outfitters, which last year was recognized by National Geographic as one of the “Best Travel Companies on Earth”, has distinguished their Kern River rafting trip experience by focusing on quality and customer service. “We enhance the camping experience by having an overnight camp that pampers customers with redwood sleeping decks, extra-thick camp mattresses, solar lights, outstanding cuisine, and beautiful views of the river,” said Keith Stephens, general manager of Kern River Outfitters.

The Lower Kern River, which is often touted as the premier multi-day rafting trip in California, will offer substantial water flows for rafting trips into mid-September. Reservations are required and trip space is limited to 30 people. For more information on rafting on the Kern River or to reserve your space, call Kern River Outfitters at 1-800-323-4234 or visit http://www.KernRafting.com.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guide Profile: Bridget Murphy

Bridget joined our team after graduating from our guide training in April of 2009. She hails from New York City and attended the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. She received a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics in the spring of 2008. In addition to her academic pursuits, Bridget was a scholarship athlete for the University of Rhode Island's NCCA Division One Varsity Gymnastics team.

Bridget has flourished in her second year on the Kern. Her guiding skills are second to none and she is a frequent request by guests running our Lower Kern Two Day trips. In addition to her outstanding guiding skills, Bridget has made a name for herself by demonstrating perfect handstands at camp and headstands on her raft in the calm sections of the river. We're happy to announce that Bridget is going to be guiding trips through the first part of September this year. If you would like to request Bridget, give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234 and we will make every effort to schedule her on your trip.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guide Profile: Darby Vreven

Darby Vreven is one of those rare guides blessed with phenomenal experience, poise, talent, athleticism, and a sunny, outgoing personality. He started guiding on the Kern in 1982 and has seen the Kern River run at levels many just dream about. In 1983, the Isabella spillway overflowed and the Lower Kern ran in excess of 7,500 CFS (cubic feet per second). Darby was one of only a handful of guides who ran the Lower Kern at these impossible levels and has some tall tales of his exploits that day in the Lower Kern Canyon. He is a veteran of two Iron Man Triathlons and has recently retired as a special education teacher for Kernville Elementary here in the Kern Valley.

Darby has been the lead instructor for our spring guide trainings over the past few years. His love of guiding and high degree of experience has enabled him to pass on invaluable skills to our guide trainees. He's pictured here running an oar boat through Carson Falls rapid on the Forks of the Kern last weekend. When not on the water, you can find Darby running with his faithful golden retriever, Solar, or mountain biking on the trails that crisscross the Kern Valley.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Casa Colina's Annual Lower Kern Trip

Every year, Kern River Outfitters hosts a group of rafters from Casa Colina Rehabilitation Center on our Two Day Lower Kern trip. Guide Kristen Finstad is pictured above coming through Possum Rapid with a boatload of grinning guests from last year's Casa Colina trip. Anne Johnson, founder and director of Casa Colina's Outdoor Adventures program, organizes this group every year. This inspiring group makes up one of the most rewarding trips we run every year. Today is day two of their 2010 Lower Kern trip. We'll post photos of this year's trip when they come off the water this afternoon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Magic Eight Ball: What Should Everyone Do This Week?

If you are like the other million-plus folks out there wondering exactly what to do with yourself over the next few days we have great news for you. We've taken the guess work, planning, and decision making difficulties and used our office's Magic Eight Ball to help you find the answer to the century old question of "What Should I Do?"

After shaking and rolling the Magic Eight Ball across the floor the answer shined proud and true: "Go Rafting on the Kern River" it read. We took a photo to post here so you can see the Magic Eight Ball for yourself. To heed its advice simply pick up your phone and give us a call at 1-800-323-4234.

This coming week has plethora of trip options: Double Licketies, Half-Day, and Full-Day trips on the Upper Kern River; One and Two-Day trips on the Lower Kern; and of course the Three-Day trip on the Forks of the Kern (July 10th).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Forks of the Kern: July 10th, 11th, 12th

Pictured above is master guide Darby Vreven exiting from the "Thing" (the last hole in Carson Falls Rapid on the Forks). Darby is rowing a fully loaded gear boat on day three of the trip that came off the water last Sunday. It was absolutely glorious out there.

This season has seen almost unprecedented conditions on the Forks. With flows hovering around 2000cfs, the water conditions are as close to perfect as you will ever see, especially in July.

Chocked full of world class whitewater, Forks of the Kern is one of the nation's premier rafting trips. We have a trip slated to leave on Saturday, July 10th at 8:00am. This trip is one of our "Priority Dates" and features a reduced rate. Take a look at our interactive Forks of the Kern Map and get a tantalizing view of some of the scenery and rapids on this epic run.

If you would like more information, or would like to make a reservation for this trip of a lifetime, give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234 and we'll arrange your trip on this Wild and Scenic whitewater adventure.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Half-Day Lower Kern Trips (Class II-III)

One of our lesser-known trips is the Half-Day Lower Kern. This trip is great for those who are looking for a pleasant mix of the Lower Kern's stunningly beautiful river canyon as well as mellower whitewater than some of our other full-day and half-day trips. The whitewater on the Half-Day Lower Kern trip is class II and III, which means it is perfect for inexperienced paddlers or those who simply want a relaxing float.

The Half-Day Lower Kern meets at 1:00 p.m. at our rafting center. Trips typically get off the water around 5:00 and are back at our base by 5:30. In total, we raft about 6 miles and run dozens of class II and a handful of class III rapids.

In 2010 we are offering Half-Day Lower Kern trips on the following dates: July 4th, July 31st, August 1st, August 7th, and August 8th. If you would like to join us on this wonderful stretch of river, give us a ring at 1-800-323-4234. Click here to download the Half-Day Lower Kern trip notes.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Celebrate America’s Birthday on the Kern River

The “Wild and Scenic” Kern River is a Great Place for Families to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Americans throughout the state of California are looking for new ways to celebrate the nation’s birthday and an increasing number of them are taking their families rafting for the holiday. The Kern River in Southern California offers celebrants a fabulous venue to enjoy the great outdoors for the Fourth of July. All three sections of the Kern River - the Upper, Lower, and Forks of the Kern - are running at summer levels that haven’t been seen since 2006. These water flows are allowing whitewater enthusiasts an opportunity to raft the entire river at ideal conditions. Visitors to the Kern Valley will also be treated to an exceptional fireworks display over Lake Isabella the evening of July 3rd.

Keith Stephens, general manager of Kern River Outfitters, suggests a rafting trip coupled with an evening lakeside enjoying the fireworks as an ideal family outing. “Families looking for a wholesome get-a-way can’t beat the combination of a day or two of whitewater and the fireworks show over the lake.” Stephens adds, “Our most popular river trip, the Two-Day Lower Kern run, will be serving overnight guests a 'real American' dutch oven apple pie and ice cream dessert on the Fourth of July, in addition to an ample helping of good old fashioned whitewater.”

The Kern River Valley offers visitors a wide range of recreational opportunities in addition to rafting. Side hikes to giant sequoia groves, golf, fishing, and boating on Lake Isabella are just some of the activities that are available. For more information on rafting trips or other opportunities for family oriented fun in the Kern Valley, contact Kern River Outfitters at 1-800-323-4234 or visit their website at http://www.KernRafting.com.

4th of July on the Kern River

This weekend promises to be one of the highlights of the 2010 season here on the Kern River. In addition to the best rafting conditions we've seen in years, there will be an awesome fireworks show over Lake Isabella on Saturday, July 3rd just after dark. Every year, after drip drying from a day or two of rafting, we gather around the lake and wait for the show to begin. We still have a few spaces for our one day trips on the Upper, Lower, and super affordable two hour Double Lickety Split trips on Saturday. Celebrate our nation's birthday with us on the Kern River. We guarantee a day of outstanding whitewater and an evening filled with fun and fireworks. Give us a call at 1-800-323-4234 and our office staff will help you arrange an unforgettable visit for you and your family.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vanessa Herrera

Pictured above is a beaming Vanessa Herrera standing guard below Carson Falls on the Forks of the Kern.

Vanessa has been guiding with Kern River Outfitters since graduating from our guide training in 1998. A stand out during the course, she showed an innate aptitude for guiding and has long since become one of our top guides. After long seasons guiding on the Kern during the summer, Vanessa spent many off season traveling in Mexico, Costa Rica, and other far flung regions seeking out whitewater wherever she could find it. In recent years, she works as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles during the winter. Vanessa's smile and pleasant demeanor brightens the days of all lucky enough to find her wielding a guide paddle in the back of their raft.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Something for everyone on Southern California’s Kern River in July

The numerous trip options make Kern River rafting trips suitable for nearly everyone.

Two weeks after the Kern River spiked to an impressive 8,600 cubic feet per second, the water flow on all three sections of the river has receded to ideal levels for whitewater rafting. “We’ve been running trips since early April but now is the first time all sections of the Kern are running simultaneously and at perfect water flows,” reports Keith Stephens, general manager of Kern River Outfitters. “We expect these levels to remain steady through the month of July and into August,” adds Stephens.

The furthest south of any Sierra Nevada river, the Kern River offers whitewater enthusiasts a wider range of rafting opportunities than any river in California. Rafters can choose from a range of easy Class II and III two hour trips on the Upper Kern to expert three day Class V adventure on the Forks of the Kern. “Our most popular trip is the Two-Day Lower Kern run,” says Stephens, who has worked on the Kern River for over 20 years. “It’s fun whitewater for families and our camp is spacious and incredibly comfortable.”

Numerous options make Kern River rafting trips suitable for nearly everyone and the short driving distance from Southern California’s largest cities make it a popular summer destination. For information about the Kern River or California rafting trips in general, contact Keith Stephens at 1-800-323-4234 or visit: http://www.KernRafting.com.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Celebrate 4th of July on the Kern River

Looking for something to do on 4th of July Weekend?

A Kern River rafting vacation is the ticket to a peaceful 4th of July away from the crowds. On the Upper Kern we still have space on our full-day and half-day trips for both Saturday and Sunday. On the Lower Kern there are still spaces open on our two-day Saturday-Sunday trip. Call us at 1-800-323-4234 to reserve your space today.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Thunder Run

The Thunder Run is an exceptional Class Five 0ne-day trip on the Upper Kern. We ran one today and yesterday. The conditions are perfect: beautiful weather and exceptional water flows. Pictured above is our guide Scooter Carling and his raft of eager paddlers having the time of their lives dropping into Fender Bender Rapid. They were having as much fun as you could possibly fit into one day.

Here are a couple more shots taken of the proud crew as they exited the rapid:

The conditions for Class Five adventures on the Thunder Run and the Forks of the Kern could not be better. The melting 2010 snow pack will allow us to run many more of these trips over the next few weeks. We currently have six spaces available for our Thunder Run departing tomorrow morning at 8:30am. If you'd like to join us on one of these great trips, give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234 and we'll have you paddling before you know it.

Choosing an Outfitter for your Rafting Trip

A Careful Selection Can Be the Difference Between a Fabulous Trip and a Bad Experience

A rafting vacation is a popular way for families and groups of friends to enjoy the thrill of whitewater and the serenity of the great outdoors. But how do you choose the most competent outfitter? Keith Stephens, general manager of Kern River Outfitters, suggests you ask a few simple questions. “Experience and track record are paramount when one looks for a professional outfit. Outfitters who are able to attract and hold top quality guides are in the position to offer their guests the best experience on the river.” Stephens advises to inquire as to how much experience a company’s guide staff offers. When shopping for an outfitter, here are a few a few key questions to ask:

1. Do they have a loyal customer base that returns year after year?
2. How long have they been outfitting on the stretch of river you’re intending to run?
3. Are they held in high regard by the federal agencies overseeing their permit?
4. Is their guide staff competent and family friendly?

Answers to these simple questions can shed light on the sometimes foggy process of choosing the right outfit for your group.

River trips can range from hour long jaunts to multi day adventures and rapids from easy Class II and III to more moderate Class IV and high adventure Class V outings. “An excellent rafting outfitter should have a depth of guide staff that can negotiate all of these levels of rapid difficulty with confidence,” Stephens adds. Guide personality is also a key factor in a successful, fun rafting trip. Ask your prospective outfitter the average age and make up of their guide staff. An excellent outfitter will have a good variety of men and women guides who not only specialize in technical skills on the water, but are also interesting, engaging hosts.

Kern River Outfitters has been at the forefront running trips on the Kern River in Southern California for over 30 years. They specialize in running all sections of the Kern River including the Upper, Lower, and Forks of the Kern. They offer trips from a two hour Class II and III run to three day Class V runs. Their most popular trip is the Two Day Lower Kern trip. For more information on Kern river trips visit www.KernRafting.com or call 1-800-323-4234.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Marie, Rich and Family Go Rafting

Marie Griffin, long time friend of Kern River Outfitters' general manager Keith Stephens, brought her family up for a taste of the Kern this past weekend. Pictured above alongside the river just prior to launching on their Double Lickety Split run is Marie and her husband Rich along with their kids Sarah, Sophie, Amanda, and Grace. Everyone who met them said the same thing: What a wonderful family.

They had a great time. And, it sure was nice having them. Here's a couple more photos of the family droppin' in and having fun in the sun on the mighty Kern.

If you'd like to have a little fun yourself, give us a call at 1-800-323-4234 and we'll find a trip that's perfect for your family too.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Article in Antelope Valley Life

AV News Editor Tom Bryant joined us on a one-day Upper Kern rafting trip last week. He wrote a great article about Kern River Outfitters and our guides, you can check it out here. In his article, Tom writes:

"We arrived at the Kern River Outfitters early in the morning and met Vanessa, a wonderful guide who gave us some detailed lessons and information for our day on the river.

We were then introduced to Keith and Matt who would be our Guide's throughout our daylong trip. I mentioned attitude and atmosphere, these two guides had both and made our trip a trip to remember.

Even if you've never been rafting before, or ever experienced rapids like this, Keith and Matt are two of the best in keeping you safe. The training is non stop from the time you get into the boat to the time to get back to their office. That's right, white water rafting is not a spectator sport, it's a hands-on sport that is second to none."

Check out the full article here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Upper Kern Peaks Sunday, June 6th

The Upper and Forks of the Kern appear to have peaked this past weekend. The flows were approaching 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Here's a picture of "The Flume" (one of the rapids on the One Day Class V "Thunder Run") flowing during the peak. At theses flows, we pass on running Thunder Runs and look for calmer places to take our rafts, but it is still interesting to see how the river changes with these unusually high water flows. The peak flows are beginning to diminish and the river will slowly decrease revealing crystal clear water and wonderful, steady flows throughout June and July for our Upper, Lower, and Forks of the Kern trips. Interested in taking advantage of one of these great vacations? Give us a call at 1-800-323-4234.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lower Kern Rafting in Full Swing

Our most popular rafting trip, the two-day Lower Kern, is now in full swing for the summer. With temperatures in the mid-90s and flows holding at an excellent 2000 cubic feet per second, the Lower Kern is the obvious choice for a multi-day rafting trip in California.

The Lower Kern is well known for fun and exciting rapids, warm water, and a beautiful river canyon. Our camp is located exactly half way through the run, about 10 miles downstream of the put-in, and is a comfortable place to call "home" for the night.

Give us a ring to book your Lower Kern rafting trip at 1-800-323-4234. You can also learn more about the Lower Kern by clicking here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Exploring the Kern River Drainage

The Kern River is the main draw to the Kern River Valley during the spring and summer months. However, there are many sites to visit and explore after a day or two on the river and that's exactly what I did this past week. After spending Tuesday on the Upper Kern River I grabbed my girlfriend, two sandwiches, and my camera and we began our trek to greater heights.

After passing Johnsondale Bridge the road begins a steep climb and follows South Creek to the small town of Johnsondale. Continuing up the road we reached an intersection that all of our guides here at Kern River Outfitters are familiar with: The Road to the Forks, which turns off to the right. We continued off to the left and after about 15 minutes we hit a four-way stop at the Western Divide Highway. We turned to the right and continued down the road toward the Trail of 100 Giants.

After another 15 minutes we reached the Dome Rock, which offered some spectacular views of the entire Kern River Valley and the Needle Rocks. What a great place to eat lunch too.We were trying to find the trail to the Needle Rocks but there is so much snow still up high that the side-roads were all closed. So, instead of hiking we went to the restaurant/bar in the small town of Ponderosa and enjoyed a tasty brew and a game of pool.

While visiting the Kern River Valley, be sure to check out some of the many side-adventures this great place has to offer. Our guides and staff are more than just raft guides, they know this area better than anyone and can help you have the trip of a lifetime, both on and off the river.

The reason we are going to have a great
season on the Kern River: lots of snow!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Make Plans Today: Call 1-800-323-4234

Memorial Weekend is fast approaching and if you don't already have plans to visit the Kern River now is the time to pick up the phone and give us a ring. We still have space available on a few of our most popular trips, but not for long.

Right now on the Kern River we are experiencing better than normal river flows and with that in mind many past guests are calling and saving their seats. So, if you don't have plans, give us a call. You can reach us at 1-800-323-4234 or office@KernRafting.com.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dwight and Ernie

These unassuming hombres are the cornerstones of our transportation division here at Kern River Outfitters. Pictured here waiting for their guests to get suited up for their trips this morning, Dwight and Ernie (and Bob and Mike who are not in the photo) are responsible for safely transporting our guests, guides, and equipment to and from the river each and every day during the spring and summer months. They are not only great drivers, they're great guys too. We all feel lucky to have these fellas on board. Join us on the Upper, Lower, or Forks of the Kern this year and you'll get the added bonus of meeting these guys as well as the rest of our talented staff here at Kern River Outfitters.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kern River Outfitters Teams up with U.S. Forest Service and California Land Management for River Clean Up Day on Saturday, June 12th

Kern River Outfitters has teamed up with California Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service for the 2010 Upper Kern River Clean Up Day scheduled for Saturday, June 12th at 9:00am. Participants meet at Corral Creek along the Upper Kern and will spend a few of hours helping beautify the Upper Kern River. A BBQ lunch at Headquarters Campground will follow the clean up. This is a great opportunity to do something good for the Kern River and have some fun to boot. If you would like more information, please call Debbie Campbell at 1-760-376-1815. You can also call our office at 1-800-323-4234.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Extended Upper Kern Rafting Season

Due to a cooler than normal May, flows on the Upper Kern are going to be great until late July. Snow in the Kern River drainage is not melting as quickly as what would normally be expected. Yesterday's "high" of 58 degrees was a chilly surprise but what might be a sting of cold air today is a promise of great water flows in July.

The Upper Kern River is California's most accessible class II-V stretch of whitewater. For more than twenty miles the river offers up world-class whitewater and a beautiful river canyon all within a pitching-wedge from the road. With various access points, finding a river section suitable for just anyone is possible.

Our Upper Kern trips meet at our rafting center at 8:30 a.m. and return sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. We serve a great lunch along the river and take you on many of the different sections of the Upper Kern. For more information about the Upper Kern, or to book your trip, call us at 1-800-323-4234.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Forks of the Kern River Video

The Forks of the Kern, the crown-jewel of wilderness class V, was where 17 Kern River Outfitters' guides and staff found themselves on Tuesday and Wednesday. Each year we hold a staff training trip on the Forks and this year the two-day trip was an absolute blast. We took two paddle boats and three oar boats, had clean lines, and got to see one of the most beautiful sections of river that we know of.

Mike Spradlin shot video, edited it, and then recorded his own music to put together this sweet clip of runs at West Wall (aka Confusion) and Carson Falls.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everything is new here - except the guides

Things are exciting here at Kern River Outfitters' headquarters. Each day the nice UPS man drops off another shipment of something new for the 2010 season. First came the lifejackets and helmets. That's right: fresh, new, brightly colored, and high-floating jackets coupled with brand-spanking new helmets are now ready in the gear shed to hit the water.

Next came umbrellas for our Lower Camp. These shade-making machines are ready to be plopped into place. They were followed by new silverware, new table cloths, new t-shirts, and new throw-bags. Each day a new surprise.

At KRO, we believe the smallest details of every trip deserve attention. And that's why we start with new gear and equipment. No other outfitter knows service like we do here and that's precisely why our guests come back year after year.

The big new touch for 2010 is our Rafting Center: bigger, newer, and better than any river trip meeting location in California.

The only thing that's not new here at Kern River Outfitters are our guides. Our guides are the most experienced river men and women you will find anywhere. And that's the most important detail of your trip. Oh, and Jason has a new dog named Banjo. Come join us on the river - everything's new you know, well, except our guides.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Packing into the Forks of the Kern

Yesterday our crew packed into the Forks of the Kern in preparation for our Forks training trip. We're launching this morning and will be taking out tomorrow afternoon. Things are looking great for the trip: beautiful weather and great water flows.

Gary (many refer to him simply as "Starter") drove some of the crew up and was able to snap some photos from the pack station. The Forks is one of the most isolated multi-day trips in the United States and mules are necessary to carry all of our heavy equipment down to the river. It's one of the few rafting trips on earth where the task of getting to the river is an adventure in itself.

We still have spaces available on many of our Forks trips for 2010. With a good snow pack, our Forks of the Kern rafting season will extend into late July. Give us a call today to begin planning your trip, 1-800-323-4234.

Here are some shots Gary was able to get yesterday:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kern River Rafting Company Adopts Brigade Customer Service Standards

Kern River Outfitters is "raising the bar" for customer service in the whitewater rafting industry.

Bridgade-style service is a standard of performance and care defined by a select group of river outfitters in Idaho and Oregon offering multi-day rafting vacations. It recognizes the need to provide exceptional service to clients who have a myriad of family vacation choices. Today’s successful adventure travel providers have elevated their service standards to compete with cruise lines, destination resorts and other vacation choices.

For Kern River Outfitters, based in Wofford Heights, California, adopting a brigade style service philosophy was an easy step. Already recognized as the premier rafting outfitter on the Kern River, the company queried guests and guides to determine what standards needed to be defined and implemented. Reservations manager, Dawn Jordan, summed it up, “It is a company wide effort to provide memorable and exhilarating rafting trips that feature exceptional customer service, acclaimed meals, gracious and welcoming guides, and a desire to introduce guests to the secrets of the Kern River Valley.”

The company set standards for a variety of trip elements. Boating safety, environmental interpretation, food handling & meal preparation, equipment inspections, guide training, and office staffing all were reviewed to set a level of service beyond what is typically expected on a rafting trip.

Will Volpert, Operations Manager, believes the effort pays big dividends for guests and guides. “We’ve set the bar for guest satisfaction at a very high level. We have always been committed to running the highest quality trips possible and in this economic downturn it is more crucial than ever to continue on this trend.”

For information on rafting the Kern River, contact Kern River Outfitters at 1-800-323-4234. Idaho & Oregon River Journeys is another outfitter that has adopted this level of service. Learn about their trips at http://www.IdahoRiverJourneys.com or http://www.RogueRiverTrips.com.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Is it Saturday? Looks like it!

It's been a busy Saturday morning here at KRO headquarters but now it's 9:30 a.m. and each bus has left the rafting center headed towards the river. There are a few highlights for today:

1) Our first Lower Kern trip of the season is hitting the water in about, well, half an hour.
2) We have a lot of folks on a Thunder Run trip. As I write this they are doing a swim test at the park.
3) We're celebrating a 50th birthday on today's Thunder Run. Happy Birthday Steve and have a great day out there!

We have space on tomorrow's Big Five and Upper Kern trips. Give us a ring if you'd like to join in on the awesome whitewater and crystal clear skies: 1-800-323-4234.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kern Operations Manager Drops In on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon

This looks like a pretty big raft, eh? Will Volpert, our Kern Operations Manager is seen here at the helm of our sister company's sweep boat on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. We're not sure which position has a higher degree of responsibility, running the sweep and being responsible for ALL of the gear for an entire six day trip down the Middle Fork or running our Kern operation. These sweep boats are not easy to run, but William is a master. He has a vision of finding a way to use these boats on the Kern, but, as of now they are not part of our operation. They might make a great Lickety Split craft, but we're not sure about the Forks of the Kern . . . just yet.

Our sister company, Idaho River Journeys, offer's six day trips on the Middle Fork and Main Salmon in Idaho. We love the Kern, but we have to admit that these two Idaho rivers offer a very special opportunity for friends and families to run two of the most beautiful rivers in the country. Feel free to give Bob and Mary a call at 1-888-997-8399 if you'd like more information on these outstanding multi-day wilderness rafting trips.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Opening Day Flag Flies

Every summer, we pick a day to celebrate the opening day of our Kern River rafting season. This year, we have a lot to celebrate: the remodel of our Rafting Center, the abundant snow pack, and the return of our talented guides and smiling guests for the season. With a fresh coat of paint on the pole, we raised our flag this morning in honor of the fabulous summer of rafting that lies ahead of us. Look for it when you arrive into Wofford Heights. It is not only a harbinger of the great time you'll have on the water with us, it also marks the meeting place (6643 Wofford Blvd) for your Upper, Lower and Forks of the Kern trips.