Shuttle Fest 2019

October 18-20, 2019

Mountain biking around Kernville offers some epic trails in the Sequoia National Forest! We are offering mountain bike enthusiasts Kernville’s laid back style of riding with no pressure, loads of scenery, sweet trails and just a tiny bit of challenge. With our annual Shuttlefest mountain biking event, we are also offering all you Cannell Trail and Just Outstanding die-hards a chance to ride multiple trails, each day, within this three-day event.

During this October, three day, mountain biking event, you will be able to ride Just Outstanding Trail twice in one day, if you would like. Or, ride Cannell Trail in the morning and then Just Outstanding in the afternoon!

Gather your usual riding crew and call us at (800) 861-6553 to reserve your shuttle and camp site. No worries, if you can’t make it up to Kernville for this three-day Shuttle-Fest. Just let us know what dates you can make it, and we will get you up the mountain (shuttle times will be limited, however)!

Greenhorn Summit Loop Trail (Beginner)

25-30 miles of dirt roads. Start at 6,900 feet elevation. Two to three loops at 6,000 feet. Views, climbs, descents. The final descent is twelve miles to the valley floor. The ride finishes with an eight-mile ride back to MRA Campground on pavement. Three to four-hour ride.

Just Outstanding Trail (Intermediate to Advanced)

20-25 miles of dirt roads & single track. Challenge “Just Outstanding” and leap into “Whoop-ty Do”! Forest, chaparral, dirt and sand. The final descent is twelve miles to the valley floor. Three to four-hour ride.  Extend this ride by climbing Unal Loop before you hit JO!

Portuguese Pass Trail (Intermediate)

Seven miles out on dirt road and then back seven miles on single track. Portuguese Pass has mid-range climb and awesome views. The final descent is twelve miles to the valley floor. The ride finishes with an eight-mile ride back to MRA Campground on pavement. Three to five-hour ride.

Click here for Greenhorn/Alta Sierra trail details.

Cannell Trail (Intermediate/Advanced)

Cannell Trail starts out at 9200 feet, or climb to Sherman Peak for an extra challenge. Ride extra eight-mile single track to Big Meadow. Four to seven-hour ride.

Click here for Cannell Trail details.


Plan for your Shuttle

Weather is unpredictable! Be ready for rain, shine or snow!  Temps at the top of Greenhorn and Sherman Pass can be 10-20 degrees colder than Kernville, CA.
Elevation ranges from 2,650′ to 9,000′. Be ready to ride and make sure your bike is checked over.
Be at ride departure location 15-20 minutes early for loading.
Bikes can get scratched when being shuttled.
NO WHINING! Just Ride! Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Special

Treat Mom to some quality time with the family this Mother’s Day.

Shower your Mom with love in a thrilling way this year, on the Kern River with our special offer!

Receive one night of free camping when you reserve two consecutive nights of camping with any of our Upper/Lower Kern (permitted) raft trips. 

This is a minimum $50 value.  All trip minimums and maximums apply.  Must meet age criteria for each tour.  We reserve the right to move your trip based on safety and water levels. Valid 5/9/19 to 5/14/19. Use PROMO code MOM2019.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our adventurous Moms. 
Happy Mother’s Day to all our adventurous Mom’s!

Big Water on the Kern River

Big Water Season on the Kern River!

We are not going to sugar coat it, big water can be intimidating, but it can also be the best time ever!

Click Here to View in Spanish

Are you thinking about rafting this year but have questions about what that means on a big water year? We are here to explain the differences and help you make better decisions on what trip is right for you. At Mountain and River Adventures we take guests down the Kern River every year for the past 31 years high or low water, we know the Kern River well.

The Lower Kern River on a normal year runs between 2000 & 35000 cfs, on a year like 2017 we saw flows up to 5400 cfs.

What is a cfs? Cubic Foot Per Second, it’s how we measure water volumes in rivers. 1 cfs is about the size of a basketball so you can imagine 5400 basketballs bouncing down the river at once. It is too early to say exactly how much water will be released in the lower kern this year, but with the snowpack in the sierra and the amount of water in Lake Isabella we can expect an above average amount.


Big Water Hazards

  1. Strainers (big water floods banks, avoid trees and bushes)

A strainer is the number one hazard on a big water year. Before any commercial rafting trip your raft guide will talk about strainers. A strainer is a tree or object that has water flowing through and around it. This is a hazard because you can become trapped in the tree or object. In some  cases it is often safer to be in the middle of the river than near the shore. Look for other boats and swim towards them.

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Strainer (tree in the water)

2. Swims

Big water swims can be fast, the best thing to do if you find yourself swimming is to get back in the boat you came out of, swim to another boat near. Be an active participant in your own rescue, and avoid strainers at all costs.

So, if you find yourself in the drink, stay calm, and listen for your guide. They will always point in a positive direction. Time your breaths so that you don’t swallow water, and most importantly swim for the boat! (If you do  not know how to swim please advise your guide before the trip).

Big Water Rafting on the Kern River

3. Paddle well as a team

Believe it or not rafting really is a team effort. Especially on big water years, your Guides need you to paddle and paddle well in order to make the moves necessary to successfully navigate the river. Sit in an athletic stance locking your feet into the raft’s tubes, you should be able to stand up, sit down, lean out, and lean in. When paddling don’t try and overpower each other, instead be consistent, count your strokes, if it helps. Don’t worry we will teach you all of this. When you really dial in a team on the river it can be a-lot of fun!

paddle as a team on the kern

4.  Flips (F***S)

F***S happen, we don’t like to talk about them, but we need to. If your boat f***ps you will most definitely be swimming, there is no way around it. If you can, hang on to your paddle. As soon as you can, start actively swimming to another boat. Your guide will be riding that upside down raft getting ready to flip it back over. You don’t want to be underneath it. Your guide will also have to buy his buddies some beer later so give him a tip when he gets you back in his boat. flipped raft on the kern

5. Pick the right trip for you.

Just because the river is full does not mean that we don’t still have some great family friendly rafting options. The first day of the Lower Kern is a great class III trip and it can be run as a full day or half day. The Lickity section on the upper kern is also a great class III trip that the whole family can enjoy.

big water kids trip kern river

If you are looking for a little more excitement, so are we! Let’s gear up and paddle hard, because big water years make for an exciting ride. For some trips you may be required to take a swim test in the town park, this is not a pass/fail test. More of a good way to assess your abilities to swim in current and give you an opportunity to see how it feels to swim in current. (most people who take the swim test say that they are more comfortable going rafting.) Swim Test on the Kern River

Check out River Safety Week April 29!

Written by John Rea – Mammoth Media Productions

Kern River super bloom is on, right now!

Kern River super bloom, as seen from hillside above MRA Campground.

Kern River super bloom is happening right now.  You don’t want to miss this!  The colors are gorgeous!  Bright yellows, shocking pink, lovely white, we have it all.  Come see for yourself.  And the blooms are just across the street from our campground.  Just imagine the family photos!  And, we know all the off-the-beaten-path spots.

California Wildflower Super Bloom in Kernville

For our camping guests, access to copious amounts of wildflowers could not be easier.  They are right across the street from our Campground!  No GPS or navigation system needed.

Kernville Wildflowers

Be sure to pop into our Check-in center when you camp with us to find out which wildflower locations are in bloom while you are here.

California 2019 Wildflower Superbloom

If camping @ MRA Campground and hiking around our hillsides to view our Kern River super bloom aren’t enough activity for you, we can recommend more fun!   Did you know we are offering whitewater rafting tours on the Kern River already?  Well, we are!  Check out our splashy fun for all tours here.  And if you would prefer a bigger paddling challenge, we have just the tour for you here.

Another way to view the wildflowers is by mountain biking on the Kern River Trail.  This single-track trail will challenge you just enough, and feed your soul with it’s inner beauty as you traverse our Kern River super bloom fields of poppies on this fun, challenging, single-track trail.  Get outside!

Double Blitz – Class III Rafting


(Beginner-Intermediate Level)

Our double-drenching, double thrilling, and double the fun 1/2 day adventure, includes two, three-mile runs through Class I, II and III rapids. PLUS (if water levels permits) – go through the Class III+ Powerhouse rapid!

MEETING PLACE: (Time located on Reservation Confirmation– PLEASE ARRIVE 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO TIME LISTED FOR CHECK IN) AT OUR Kernville Store, 11113 Kernville Road. OUR PHONE NUMBER IS (760) 376-6553. RESERVATIONS: 1-800-861-6553.


From Southern or Northern California, take Hwy 99 to Bakersfield. Once in Bakersfield exit Hwy 178 East to Lake Isabella. At Lake Isabella, exit the off ramp which reads “Highway 155-Kernville”, go left to Kernville. Follow this road fro about 15 minutes and do not make any turns follow this road into Kernville and our store is located on the right side of the road.

From Hwy 395, take Hwy 178 West. As you approach Lake Isabella from the East, look for the Kernville sign, turn right on Sierra Way and travel around the lake for approximately 10 miles and Turn left on Kernville road. Once you go over the bridge our store is on the left hand side of the road.


River attire is casual. Footwear is a must. Plan to get wet and bring a change of clothing.

  • On-river you can wear wetsuit booties, Water Sandals with secure back straps, or even Tennis Shoes with no socks and good traction soles. NO FLIP FLOPS OR CROCS
  • Visor or hat • Sunglasses •Strap to secure sunglasses
  • Sun block • Lip Balm • Swimsuit or shorts • Windbreaker • Clothing made from poly-pro,
  • Polyester, quick drying materials are ideal for rafting (avoid cotton materials) • Water bottle

Please do not bring radios, firearms, pets or valuables. Sun-sensitive persons should bring a hat and light weight long-sleeve shirt.

On certain early season trips when water and weather conditions dictate, we may require all passengers to wear wetsuits. If needed, wetsuits can be rented.


The minimum age on our Power House Section trips is 5 years old (must weigh at least 50 pounds) while in rafts & 9 years old while in Inflatable Kayaks. This age limit is in place for the safety of your child, the safety of our other guests and our guides & can be changed to an older age restriction during high water levels.


Please do not bring alcohol on your trip. If we believe a guest is under the influence of alcohol or drugs they will not be allowed on the trip and will not be given a refund.


Guests sometimes ask whether gratuities are appropriate. If you enjoyed your trip, please feel free to leave a tip with your guide, the trip leader, or office/store personnel. Thanks!


Our guides are experienced, skilled whitewater boaters. They are knowledgeable about canyon ecology and natural history. Should the need arise they are trained to administer First Aid. Guides can also provide information on organizations that work to preserve and protect rivers and river canyons.


We furnish rugged inflatable rafts, 12 to 16 feet in length. We provide accessory river equipment, life vests, first aid and safety supplies. Do not bring your own life vest. Ours are approved for rafting and we require that they be worn by all guests. On most trips, the majority of passengers ride in paddle-boats. A paddleboat is piloted by a guide, assisted by four to six passengers.


Safety helmets are available at no additional charge to guests joining us on any stretch of river that we run. Helmets are REQUIRED for our Class V trips and are strongly recommended on all stretches of the Kern, when rafting on water flows below 1,000 cubic feet per second. Clients expressly assume all risks associated with their refusal to use or properly use helmets or other safety equipment.


Our trips are conducted under permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service, Sequoia National Forest. Our permit is your assurance that Mountain & River Adventures is legally operating on the river. Our operations and facilities are operated on a nondiscriminatory basis.


Trip participants should understand that river trips involve known and unknown risks. Mountain & River Adventures assumes no responsibility for injuries, death or loss-damage to client’s property while on the river. All clients must sign a Participation Agreement, Release and Assumption of Risk expressly acknowledging these points. Mountain & River Adventures assumes no responsibility for vehicles and/or the contents of vehicles parked during the trip. Because of the risks associated with river trips, including personal injury, death, property loss or damage or financial loss in the event of trip cancellation, we urge all trip participants to supplement their own insurance with vacation/travel insurance.


Our Kern River trips are fun, fast and challenging. To participate, you should be in good health. You may also need to perform certain physical activities. These include basic swimming; hiking in rugged or uneven terrain, climbing in or out of rafts and assisting in your rescue, if that becomes necessary. Please let us know when you return your Participant Agreement, if you have any health or dietary restrictions. We will gladly accommodate reasonable dietary restrictions with advanced notice.


It is sometimes necessary to cancel or modify a trip because of unusual circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, we cannot be responsible for paying expenses other than refunding all or part of the fees paid to Mountain & River Adventures. Determination of refunds (if any) will be made after reviewing trip details. Guides and other personnel employed by Mountain & River Adventures are not authorized to make or promise trip refunds or trip credits. Such determinations can only be made by company officers.


If you cancel, for any reason, less than 30 days prior to your trip date, you are not eligible for a refund or store credit. Written cancellation notice received by our office more than 30 days prior to the trip date will result in a refund of your deposit paid less a $15 per person processing fee. If you must cancel at the last minute, try to find a friend to take your place. Please read our Cancellation Policy that you received with your reservation confirmation.


We strongly recommend investing in this affordable coverage, which provides accident, illness, baggage, and trip cancellation protection. Contact your insurance agent for more information.