Kern River possibilities - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-23-2018   #1
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
Kern River possibilities

Does anyone have good intel on the Kern in regards to trying to pick a day stretch that would be challenging but not a high water Lochsa day. I have pretty good rafting experience (mostly Idaho rivers) and plan on talking to some outfitters to see what they have to say. Should be getting in the Kern surroundings around May 7. I want to get the sticks wet before heading up to the Clack Fest.

I'm traveling with a 30' tow behind camper so if anyone knows of a camp spot by the take out, that would be cool. I prefer free camping but will pay as last resort.

Big Holla

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Old 04-24-2018   #2
Bigwaterforeveryone's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 17
You’re likely to have the opposite of high water Lochsa on the Kern this spring. The snowpack is ~50% of normal this year. If the weather gods smile upon you, you may see the Upper Kern above 1,500 -1,600 where you’ll find plenty of whitewater to suit your fancy. If not, you’ll have the Limestone run (3/4) and the Lickety to run (2/3)

The Lower Kern is running 410 right now. It likely won’t be much above that til later in May/early June. Unless you have a local to lead you down, I’d stick to the Upper.

Camping wise, there tons of free dispersed USFS camping spots on the Upper to park a 30’ trailer. Or Mountain & River Adventures has a nice campground just above the top of Powerhouse Rapid.

The outfitters on the Kern are great folks and can give you good beta on where to go when you get there. You’ll find Whitewater Voyages, Mountain & River Adventures and Sierra South in Kernville. All good river people.
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Old 04-25-2018   #3
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
I appreciate the info and will be checking some more options out.

Big Holla
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