Challenging put in hike, but wonderful high sierra rewards. The Kern Headwaters is generally considered one of the easiest of the High Sierra headwaters runs to the extent that expedition class 5 boating can be easy. However, the hike to the put in is one of the longest at 23 miles and crosses Whitney pass at about 13,600 feet elevation. It takes a few days of hard hiking just to get to the river.
Other Information Sources:
A GUIDE TO THE BEST WHITEWATER IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
HOLBEK & STANLEY, 1988
Billy Goat Crew & the Triple Crown article at Adventure Sports Online Journal
Photo Trip report by JD Levin
Headwaters of the Kern River by Preston Holmes
Kern River Rainbow Trout: This rainbow subspecies formally occurred throughout the Kern River drainage but is now limited to the mainstem, upstream of the Little Kern River where it occupies about 30 miles of stream habitat. The Kern River rainbow is a State Species of Special Concern primarily as a result of hybridization with planted rainbow trout. The current population is relatively stable and is not federally listed. (Cal Trout)
Good target flow is 1100 CFS in Kernville. Large range of flow experienced over the length of this trip.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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