Best Parts about the Forks of The Kern

Giant Sequoia

The Kern River Valley is a geological marvel. It is the only major Sierra river to flow north to south. Approximately 250 km (155 miles) long, it runs nearly a straight line down the 87-mile long Kern Canyon Fault from the highest Sierra peaks including Mt. Whitney and south in two main forks that have carved dramatic canyons along their paths.

In its northern portion, the North Fork is a beautiful U-shaped canyon that was carved by glaciers. At about the boundary between Sequoia National Park and Sequoia National Forest it takes on a river V-shape. Shortly thereafter it is joined by the Little Kern River whose entire watershed is within the Golden Trout Wilderness. Once it reaches the area near Lake Isabella, it joins with the South Fork then changes direction and makes a right-hand turn and then flows on to Bakersfield.

In historic times it filled up Buena Vista Lake but nowadays most of the water is used for domestic and agricultural purposes.

Freeman Creek

Freeman Creek

On the way to scouting the first significant rapid, check out the beautiful scenic waterfall that feeds into a great swimming hole. Take some time and enjoy this scenic spot before you go scout your first class 5 rapid of the trip.

Needle Rock Creek and rapid

Needle Rock Creek

This creek feeds into the Kern right in the middle of a major rapid. At the bottom of this rapid is a great view of Needle Rock and is a good point to take a break before continuing downstream.

View from View-camp Breakfast at Camp

View Camp

One of the best possible spots make camp, it offers a great scenic background. The fingers of the Needles reaching up and towering high into the sky. One of the best places in the world to be to wake up. If you thought it was amazing during the day, wait until you get to see all the stars that will fill the night sky when you get up in the wilderness away from any light pollution.

Durrwood Cabins

Durrwood Lodge Cabins

Though mostly torn down and demolished by the USFS, these cabins are a wonderful piece of California history. From mining claim to fishing and hunting camp these cabins have many stories they could tell. Ask your guide if they can show you around a bit

Peppermint Creek

Peppermint Creek

This is a spot the guides like to stop to take short rest break at on the second day. It is also the perfect place to stop for a mid-day snack. Walk up the creek and be rewarded with a spectacular cascading waterfall. Try to get up underneath it and get behind the falls, or just play in water and soak in the views. Great fun.

Dry Meadow Creek waterslide

kern river natural waterslide

Dry Meadow Creek

Wahooo!!! This has to be nature's best waterslide. Time will fly by as you play on the natural rock waterslide and land in the river. Ask your guide if there is time for them to hike you up to the upper pools, you won't regret the hike!!!

And there is more

The Needles

These are just a few of the amazing things that you will see on your trip down, The Forks of the Kern, as if the non-stop rapids were not enough. There will be breath taking panaramic views, Giant Sequoias, tall waterfalls, steep canyons walls, wild geology, fault lines, a wide spectrum of wild life, jaw dropping rapids to scout your best route through, and many many other things. Side hikes are possible, but are mostly time permitting. Don't forget to pack your trusty fishing rod, the Kern River boasts some of the best fishing around for both Golden and Rainbow trout. How does some tasty Golden Trout fillets for dinner sound? Let's see how good you are with that ol' fishing pole of yours!

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