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

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:

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 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.