Kern - 3.5) Powerhouse #3 to Riverside Park

Kern, California, US


3.5) Powerhouse #3 to Riverside Park (Powerhouse Run)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles

Kern River Park

Kern River Park
Photo of Dennis Ostrem by Scott Ostrem taken 05/19/01 @ 1750 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
cdec-KKV 5.24 - 9.00 ft II-III 02h46m 5.8 ft (running)

River Description

Kernville park is the perfect place to meet other boaters, compare notes, paddle the play features, watch others paddle the play features and just enjoy a great place.   Kernville itself is a nice town with lots of great restaurants,  motels and campgrounds.     Sierra South store has whitewater and outdoor equipment along with river news and good advice. 

The river from Powerhouse #3 to Kernville is a popular section that is especially good for teaching and for anyone to practice their skills.   Since it is below the powerhouse this section contains the full flow of the river.    Overall, the run contains mostly riffles and waves, but there are two significant rapids, The Wall and Ewing's. 


Local boaters are working to restore and improve Kernville Riverside Park

Getting There:   Kernville is at the upstream end of Lake Isabella google map.   From Bakersfield, take Highway 178 up through the Kern Canyon, around Lake Isabella.  

Cassady & Calhoun, Holbek & Stanley, Martin, Alan Baty

Other information sources:
Kern River Festival
Kern River Alliance
Kern Valley River Council
Audubon, Kern River Preserve
Wild and Scenic Kern 
River at Kernville Webcam
Restore Riverside Park




StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-11-29 17:59:54

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.7Powerhouse rapidIII
1.9Kernville ParkN/AAccess
4.7Cemetary Take OutN/ATakeout Access

Rapid Descriptions

Powerhouse rapid (Class III, Mile 0.7)

This is a man made rapid.  A cobblestone dam backs up the river so that water can be diverted into a very small canal on river right.   The dam forms a distinct horizon line.  The current drops steeply over the dam towards the right then curves along a retaining wall on the right.

Ewings (Class II, Mile 1.7)

The second of the larger rapids on this run.  Scout or portage on river right.  

Kernville Park (Class N/A, Mile 1.9)

Kernville Park is a good meeting place and is the site of the first whitewater course in the US.   Slalom races and other events are held regularly.

Cemetary Take Out (Class N/A, Mile 4.7)

This is a common take out for boaters who continue past Kernville park.   

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