Lower Kern – Full Day Class IV

Lower Kern Class IV Rafting

The full day class IV rafting trip on the Lower Kern is one of our most exciting trips. The 2019 season is going to be especially exciting with all of the water we will have melting into Lake Isabella from the Southern Sierra Mountains.

On big water years (over 4000 CFS) like this one you may be asked to take a swim test before going rafting at the Kernville Town Park. This easy class II swim will give you an idea of what it is like to have an out of boat experience in the river, and will help prepare you mentally for potential challenges ahead.

Lower Kern—One Day Class 4 Trip



8:00 A.M. AT OUR CAMPGROUND, 15775 SIERRA WAY, just north of Kernville.

PHONE (760) 376-CAMP (2267). RESERVATIONS: (800) 861-6553 OR (760) 376-6553.



From Southern or Northern California, take Hwy 99 to Bakersfield. Once in Bakersfield exit Hwy 178 East to Lake Isabella. At Lake Isabella, take the off ramp which reads “Highway 155-Kernville”. Turn left at the stop sign and travel around the lake (about 10 miles) to the stop sign and turn left on to Sierra Way. Travel north approximately 2.5 miles and look for our Campground at 15775 Sierra Way.

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 13 miles and look for our Campground at 15775 Sierra Way; about 2.5 miles past the town of Kernville.


Just a few hours from Los Angeles, the Lower Kern is a superb rafting challenge. Our one day class 4 run on the Lower Kern is one of the best whitewater rafting trips in Southern California. With reliable, sustained daily flows, this trip covers about 13 miles of the best stretch of whitewater on the Lower Kern. We’ll start right off with some class 3 and 4 rapids. Then after portaging the class 5 Royal Flush rapid, we’ll take a midday break for a delicious deli-style lunch. The finale is a series of exciting, technical, and soaking rapids called the Big 5. We will take out at Democrat Beach where we will meet our bus and return to Kernville.



– Tennis shoes, wetsuit booties, or sandals with a heel strap

– Visor or sunhat

– Sunglasses with a retaining strap

– Suntan lotion or sun block

– Lip Balm

– Swimsuit or shorts

– Water bottle

– Water-proof camera

– Personal medications

– Windbreaker, wool or fleece sweater, polyester shirt, or wetsuit in early Spring or Fall or if you get cold easily.

Please do not bring electronics, firearms, pets or valuables. Sun-sensitive persons should bring a hat and lightweight 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 at the Campground the morning of your trip.


The minimum age on our Lower Kern trips is ten years old (twelve years old during high water). This age limit is in place for the safety of your child, the safety of our other guests and our guides.


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 paddleboats. 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 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.