Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sequoia National Forest and Kern River Whitewater Outfitters Help to Support Kern River Valley

Thought we'd share this press release from this morning. We are proud to work with Sequoia National Forest and feel lucky to call the beautiful wilderness and Kern River our "office".

Sequoia National Forest and river rafting outfitters work together to bring visitors to the Kern River Valley.

(March 30, 2010 ) Wofford Heights, CALIF - The Kern River is a popular recreation tourist destination with its close proximity to several major metropolitan areas in Bakersfield, southern California, the Bay Area, Las Vegas and the San Joaquin Basin.

Thousands of visitors travel to the Kern River Valley each summer to enjoy the fun whitewater and beautiful scenery that the Kern offers. Managed by the Sequoia National Forest and Bureau of Land Management, in partnership with the Kern River whitewater outfitters, the Kern’s commercial rafting program helps to support the Kern Valley’s economy, as guests stay at hotels, dine at restaurants and visit stores. Over 10,000 commercial whitewater guests visited the Kern River Valley in 2009 alone. The outfitter’s permit fees also help to support the Kern Valley, with between $50,000 - $100,000 each season invested in Sequoia National Forest projects and improvements.

The success of the Kern River rafting program is largely due to a strong working partnership between Sequoia National Forest and the outfitters. "The outfitters, Forest Service and BLM personnel work well together to the benefit of our guests who raft with us on the Kern River," comments Jim Ritter, President of Kern River Outfitters. "Because of our partnership with Sequoia National Forest, the Kern rafting program has prospered over the years and brings many visitors to the Kern River Valley."

If you have questions about the Kern River rafting program, please contact Cheryl Bauer at the Forest Service office in Kernville at (760) 376-3781.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Kern River theme rafting trips are set for 2010

Kern River Outfitters has scheduled two of their popular two-day Lower Kern rafting trips as specialty "theme trips".

Kern River Outfitters, a Southern California whitewater rafting outfitter, will offer two theme trips on the Kern River in 2010. A Wine Tasting trip is scheduled for June 17-18 and a Pub & Grub trip featuring craft beers from the Kern River Brewing Company will take place July 8-9. Both trips are two days and are in combination with Kern River Outfitters’ popular Lower Kern rafting trip.

The June Whitewater and Wine Tasting trip will feature a broad sampling of varietal wines from Central California vintners. Tastings will be complimented by tasty hors d'oeuvres followed by a wonderful dinner prepared by the Kern River Outfitters crew.

Partnering with the Kern River Brewing Company, the Pub & Grub trip features a variety of different ales from the brewery, as well as a few home brews. Eric & Rebecca Giddens, founders of the popular local brew pub, will join Kern River Outfitters at camp to talk about their brews, the art of brewing and the role beer is playing in restaurants of all culinary persuasions across the country.

The Kern River is often touted as the best whitewater rafting river in California. Kern River Outfitters runs rafting trips from two hours to three days in length, with Class II to Class V rapids on the Lower, Upper, and Forks of the Kern. For additional information on rafting the Kern River, contact Kern River Outfitters at 1-800-323-4234 or visit http://www.KernRafting.com.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kern River rafting whitewater school awaiting snow melt

With Southern California’s snow pack hovering around 100% of normal, Kern River rafting enthusiasts now are waiting for melting snow to turn to whitewater. In April, Kern River Outfitters will host their annual Whitewater School. The school is a six-day course designed to teach the basics of being a whitewater rafting guide. “It’s essentially a six day interview,” says Kern River Outfitters general manager Keith “Luther” Stephens.

Starting on Saturday, April 17th, approximately ten whitewater school participants will trade jeans for wetsuits, cell phones for paddles, and begin training to become guides on Southern California’s famous Kern River. Many of the participants won’t have had any guiding experience and some may not have even been in a raft before. “What we look for in a guide is someone who is personable,” Stephens says. “Our guides are what make Kern River Outfitters stand out. They’re friendly, customer oriented, and they have a passion for being outside and guiding.”

Although most of the Kern River whitewater school participants will be college students looking for a summer job, some will be working professionals who seek a life change. Stephens notes that his current guide staff includes nurses, teachers, and self-employed entrepreneurs. “Our guides are a diverse mix of people, which is great for our organization,” he says. Guides who come back to the Kern every summer become part of a veteran core-group. “They’re essentially the leaders. Our younger and new guides look up to them. Our history on the Kern River goes back nearly 30 years and our veteran guides still carry on the culture and reputation that helped us grow to where we are now.”

Stephens projects that this year’s whitewater school will face challenges not seen in recent years. The above average snow pack means water will be higher and faster than usual. Participants will have to learn more quickly, or face an accidental cold swim in the river. “On the bright side,” Stephens muses, “this year’s class will probably yield some outstanding river guides.” On the river, nothing is a better chalkboard and teacher than nature itself and the whitewater class of 2010 will learn this better than anyone.

For more information about Kern River Outfitters 2010 Kern rafting season please visit their website at http://www.KernRafting.com. For additional information about becoming a guide for Kern River Outfitters, call them at 1-800-323-4234.