Sierra South - Kern River Rafting, Kayaking and Climbing
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Whitewater Rafting on the Wild and Scenic Kern River

Lickety-Split - Lickety-Blaster - Half-Day I.K. - One-Day Combo - Dynamic Duo Tandem
Half Day Upper Kern - One Day Upper Kern - Thunder Run - Forks of the Kern - Lower Kern


Raft Trip Comparison Chart - Request More Information
(Prices listed below do not include 3-7% USFS/Land use fees.)

Lickety-SplitClick!

The Lickety-Split raft trip is full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tikes to grandmas and grandpas. The minimum age/weight is 6 yrs/50 lbs.

Lickety-Split Raft Trip (Class 2-3)
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Minimum Age/Wt: 6Yrs/50Lbs - Price: Youth (12 & under) $33 Adults: $37 - Float Notes (PDF)

Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tikes to grandmas and grandpas. Before your river trip, a Sierra South professional river guide will provide you with a trip overview, paddling gear and a paddle talk. Then it's anchors away for three miles of jam-packed action on Kern River rapids such as Big Daddy, Sidewinder, Freight Train , and Ewings. Trips start in late March and run through September.


Lickety-Blaster Kern Raft TripClick!

On your second Lickety-Blaster run, you and your guide may try to navigate some of the more difficult lines through the bigger Kern River rapids.

Lickety-Blaster Raft Trip (Class 2-3)
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Minimum Age/Wt: 6Yrs/50Lbs - Price: Youth (12 & under) $50 Adults: $58 - Float Notes (PDF)

If you're itchin' for a longer Kern River whitewater escapade that won't swamp your wallet, try our Lickety- Blaster. First, "get your feet wet" on a Lickety-Split run. Then, head back up river once more to put your newly honed whitewater skills to the test. On your second run, you and your guide may try to navigate some of the more difficult lines through the bigger Kern River rapids. The Maytag Wave at Big Daddy and the Rock Slot about Ewings are just two of our favorite spots to "visit" on the second run.

Click here to see your Kern Whitewater Photos!

 

Half-Day I.K. TripClick!

If you are looking for an "up close and personal" Kern River whitewater experience, try captaining your very own inflatable kayak.

Half-Day I.K. Trip (Class 2-3)
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Minimum Age: 11Yrs. - Price: Youth (13 & under) $70 Adults: $74 - Trip Length: 3 hrs. - Float Notes (PDF)

If you are looking for an "up close and personal" Kern River whitewater experience, try captaining your very own inflatable kayak. Our sit-on-top two-person I.K.s are comfortable to ride in and an absolute gas to paddle! Let us show you how to paddle your own I.K. and then lead you down the Class 2-3 water of the Lickety Split run. By mastering the basic paddling skills taught by your ever encouraging Sierra South river guide, most people should be able to navigate their own I.K. down the roarin' rapids of the Kern River with style. Our I.K. adventures run twice daily. The price includes two-person I.K.s, paddles, lifejackets, and helmets. Wetsuits are required in the spring and may be rented at the Sierra South Outfitter's store. We usually make two runs on the Powerhouse run. Please call for daily times.

One-Day Combo Raft & Inflatable Kayak Trip (Class 2-3)
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Minimum Age: 11Yrs - Price: Youth (13 & under) $108 Adults: $119 - Trip Length: 6-7 hrs. - Float Notes (PDF)

How about a whole day of whitewater fun? Try the best of both worlds! Come rafting and inflatable kayaking all in one day. Enjoy a half-day in the 2-person inflatable kayaks and the other half as a bigger group in a raft. Lunch is on us between the runs. This trip is especially popular with Scout troops, YMCA Parent/child programs, church groups, company outings, and family & friends. Whitewater Merit Badges are available to earn for those scouts who qualify. Wetsuits are required in the spring and may be rented at Sierra South Outfitter's store.

 

Dynamic Duo Tandem River KayakingClick!

Dynamic Duo Tandem River Kayaking -- the express track to enjoying the thrill of Whitewater Kayaking! Think of this as the equivalent of first-time tandem skydiving with an instructor; only on water.

Dynamic Duo Tandem River Kayaking (Class 2-3)
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Minimum Age: 14Yrs. - Price: $59.99 - Trip Length: 1 hr. - Dynamic Duo Float Notes (PDF)

Want the express track to enjoying the thrill of Whitewater Kayaking? Think of this as the equivalent of first-time tandem skydiving with an instructor; only on water. You get to feel the rush of paddling in the front of a two-person whitewater kayak with a skilled instructor at the controls in the back of the boat. We will help paddle you down the Lickety Split class 2-3 section of the Kern River for the sheer fun and excitement of the sport. You need no previous experience. Your guide will give you all the instruction you need as the two of you together will maneuver through the fun rapids of the Kern for an hour’s worth of pure whitewater pleasure. This is also a great trip to experience with a friend, spouse, or significant other in another Dynamic Duo with an instructor. It is a gas to watch them go through a rapid at the same time! If you simply want to experience the rush of kayaking before putting in the time and effort in acquiring the skills, this is the fast track, quickie way to go. Weight and age limits apply.

Half Day Upper Kern Raft TripClick!

Want something a bit wilder than the class 2-3 Lickety Split? Try a Half Day Upper Kern trip and see what class 3-4 whitewater is all about!

Half Day Upper Kern (Class 4)
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Minimum Age: 12Yrs - Price: Youth (14 & under) $105/$120 Adults: $115/$134 - Trip Length: 4 hrs. - Float Notes (PDF)

Want something a bit wilder than the class 2-3 Lickety Split? Try a Half Day Upper Kern trip and see what class 3-4 whitewater is all about! Sierra South offers four Half Day start times a day. With easy road access and multiple put-in options, we pick and choose the best sections of river to run. Wetsuits are strongly recommended for this trip until mid June. You can book your wetsuits online at the same time you book your trip. No food is provided on this trip. Max group size 25 guests. Min. age 12 years old.

 

One Day Upper Kern Class 4 Raft TripClick!

With easy road access and multiple put-in options, we pick and choose the best sections of the class 4 Upper Kern River to run.

One Day Upper Kern (Class 4)
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Minimum Age: 12Yrs - Price: Youth (14 & under) $140/$168 Adults: $157/$183 - Trip Length: 7-8 hrs. - Float Notes (PDF)

The Wild & Scenic Upper Kern is a spring runoff river offering a variety of sensational whitewater along a 20 mile section just north of Kernville. More difficult than the Lickety Split run, the Upper Kern offers class 3-4 whitewater from late March through August depending on the season’s snowpack. With easy road access and multiple put-in options, we pick and choose the best sections of river to run. A hearty river side deli lunch is served mid day to fuel you for more whitewater to come. Wetsuits are strongly recommended for this trip until mid June. You can book your wetsuits online at the same time you book your trip. Max group size 25 guests. Min. age 12 years old.

Class 5 Thunder Run Raft TripClick!

With continuous class 4-5 rapids with names like Sock’em Dog, Squashed Paddler and Fender Bender you will get your fill of huge whitewater and come away with some great stories to tell your grandkids.

One Day Upper Kern “Thunder Run” (Class 5)
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Minimum Age: 16Yr s- Price: $215/$223- Trip Length: 7-8 hrs. - Float Notes (PDF)

For a short time in the spring the Upper Kern River snowmelt offer’s the one day Class 5 Thunder Run. The “Thundy” season is typically mid-May through mid-June. For the adventure seekers the Thunder Run is the most difficult one day trip we offer. With continuous class 4-5 rapids with names like Sock’em Dog, Squashed Paddler and Fender Bender you will get your fill of huge whitewater and come away with some great stories to tell your grandkids. All Thunder run participants must be physically fit, good swimmers and have previous class 4 experience. A Class 5 Paddlers Evaluation is required prior to running Class 5 whitewater. A hearty river side Deli lunch is served mid day to fuel you for more whitewater to come. Wetsuits are required on all Class 5 trips. You can book your wetsuits online at the same time you book your trip. Max group size 25 guests. Min. age 16 years old.

Forks of the Kern Class 5 Raft TripClick!

A 2 or 3-day Forks of the Kern run is considered one of the premier wilderness whitewater trips in the USA.

Forks of the Kern (Class 5)

Book Now! 2-Day Forks
Book Now! 3-Day Forks

Minimum Age: 16Yrs - Price: $699/$720 (2-day) $869/$899 (3-day) - Forks Float Notes (PDF)

Running high in the Sierra from its source near Mt. Whitney, the Forks of the Kern is the most difficult and remote run we offer. A 2 or 3-day Forks of the Kern run is considered one of the premier wilderness whitewater trips in the USA. This trip offers continuous Class 4-5 whitewater for 17 miles with big rapids like Upper Freeman, Vortex, Gauntlet and Carson Falls. The spectacular Sierra scenery includes views of the Needles and the granite lined gorge you will be traveling through as well as brief side hikes to waterfalls such as Freeman Falls, Peppermint Falls and Dry Meadow Teacups. Gourmet outdoor meals are prepared by the guides at camp while you try your luck catching an elusive native Golden Trout. All Forks of the Kern participants must be physically fit, good swimmers, and have previous Class 4 experience. A Class 5 Paddler’s Evaluation is required prior to running Class 5 whitewater. Wetsuits & Dry-bags are included on our Forks trips. Max group size 15 guests. Min. age 16 years old. Please download our Forks of the Kern Float Notes for additional information.

Lower Kern River (Class 3-4)

Reservations* - For More Information

The ultimate in overnight trips, the Lower Kern is a dam-released section flowing out of beautiful Isabella Lake. After capturing the spring runoff of the boisterous Upper Kern River, water is released on the Lower Kern all summer providing steady warm flow in this steep, granite-walled, secluded canyon. Hot summer day's, quiet pools, punctuated by demanding Class 3-4 rapids make this the most popular 2-day overnight river trip in Southern California. 1 Day Lower Kern trips are available when 2 Day trips are not completely booked. 1 Day trips may be booked for the first day (Class 3), or second day (Class 4), of a 2 day trip. Call Reservations to check availability, or for more information.

*Sierra South is a booking agent for Lower Kern raft trips. Coupons and discounts we offer do not apply.

New Rafting Trips!
We have expanded our operations to provide commercial outfitter and guide services on the Forks of the Kern and additional sections of the Upper Kern River. This means more exciting rafting trips for your paddling pleasure! Download our Rafting & Kayaking Adventures brochure (PDF) for more information!

Float Notes
Download these Float Notes (PDF) to see how to get to Kernville, what you need to bring, and other important information. If you are doing a 2-day or 3-day Forks of the Kern trip, please download these Forks Float Notes. If you are doing Dynamic Duo trip, please download these Dynamic Duo Float Notes.

Raft Trip Essentials
Before your rafting adventure, stock up on Rafting Essentials like sunscreen, eyewear retainers, waterproof camers and water shoes. After a great day on the river, come back by the Sierra South Store for souvenirs, tee shirts, snacks and drinks.

Reservation Information
To make reservations, please click on the Reservation button, or call us at 1-800-457-2082, Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. A 50% deposit must be received within 7 days after you make your reservation. The balance is due 30 days prior to your trip/class date. Reservations made less than 30 days before your trip require immediate payment in full. See Making Reservations for details.

Rental Information
We offer a complete line of paddlesports equipment for rent, including wetsuits and booties. Please consult out Rental Info page for rates and rental policies. Rental reservations should be made as early as possible. Many early season weekends will "sell out."

Group Discounts
Group discounts can be earned for most of our trips. We are sorry, but group discounts are not available on Saturday starts or Holidays. To qualify for group discounts you must meet the minimum group numbers, pay your deposit and final payment with one credit card or check, and pay by the required dates, or revert to normal rates. For every confirmed Class III Lickety Split, Lickety Blaster, Lickety Inflatable Kayak, or Lickety Combo reservation of 12 people, one goes free except Saturdays or Holidays. On our Upper Kern trips, any group of 12 or more qualifies for a 10% discount any day except Saturdays or Holidays. Note: Large school groups are usually quoted separately. They are already discounted and do not qualify for any of the above discounts. Charter a full group of 15 guests on the Forks of the Kern and one goes free, except Saturdays or Holiday starts. For any confirmed Kayak or Climbing class of 10 (full charter) one goes free. NOTE: School programs are already group discounted and do not qualify for any of the above discounts.

Cancellations
You may cancel 45 or more days before your Sierra South trip date and receive a full refund less a $25 processing fee per person. Cancellations made 44 days or less before trip date are non-refundable. If you must cancel , try to find a friend to take your space. All trips go rain or shine. However, we reserve the right to cancel a trip due to water conditions or insufficient reservations, in which case, only your trip fees are refundable. Refunds cannot be granted by guides and must be approved by our main office. No refunds will be given if you are injured, sick, or leave a trip or class early for any other reason. Sierra South is not liable for other costs incurred in association with a cancelled trip. We suggest trip insurance such as www.travelguard.com to cover any unexpected situations.

Responsibility and Liability
All Sierra South trips and classes involve physical activity and include certain elements of risk. We make every effort to run trips and classes in the finest, most fun-filled manner as possible. However, we cannot guarantee your safety. It is your responsibility to evaluate your level of fitness and to select a trip or class which is appropriate for you. Seek medical advice before your trip if you question your physical condition. It is your responsibility to follow our instructions. Everyone will be required to sign a release of liability/assumption of risk form and photography/video waiver form before departure. Minors under 18 not accompanied by their parents must bring to the river a release form signed by their parent or legal guardian. Click here to download the Release Form. ( PDF)

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