This is a scenic section of the Kern that is especially popular because it has dependable flows through the summer months. There are steep and exciting class 3 to 4 drops spread evenly over the run, but there are also long sections of slow scenic floating. The clean granite cliffs along much of the reach are beautiful and impressive. There are also several hot springs along the run, but most are on private property.
Permits are required for each boat that goes down the river. Permits must be picked up in person at the ranger station. Rangers usually monitor the put in. Put in: Miracle Hot Springs area offers plenty of day use parking, There will usually be a ranger there to check your permits and give advice. Google Map.Take out: A paved road leads from the main highway down to the Democrat Take out. There are signs at the turn off. There is a parking area for private boaters on the right. There are toilets but no potable water at the take out. There are a few picnic tables over looking the river. The take out ramp is shared by commercial outfitters, and private boaters. Vehicles can park near the ramp for loading only. Buses need to turn around so leave plenty of space for everybody. Google Map.Other Information Sources:CampingWikipediaKern River Alliance
Kern Valley River Council
Audubon, Kern River Preserve
Wild and Scenic Kern
Sequoia National Forest Kernville office phone # 760-376-3781
Lower Kern Guide Book - Miracle Run Section
Releases from Isabella reservoir are totally controlled by the Kern River Water Master and the Army Corp of Engineers. Flows are used for irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley through out the spring, summer and sometimes into fall. Irrigation needs change primarily by season, but also somewhat day to day. Flow records show that releases are often adjusted once a day. In recent years, weekend flows have sometimes been significantly lower than weekday flows.
Releases can come directly from the main dam and from the Borel powerhouse upstream of the put in. Borel does not control the flow but can only utilize the water that is released by the Water Master. Borel does not pulse the flows as is typical on many other rivers. This is because there is no reservoir downstream which could re regulate the flows to a pattern suitable for irrigation needs.
The graph above sometimes shows sudden spikes or drops in flow with an equally sudden return to the previous flow. It is not clear if these are actual flow changes or gauge errors.
Flow data is provided by the Army Corp of Engineers, at Isabella info
We have no additional detail on this route.
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White Maidens: lower half
White Maidens: upper half
Miracle Hot Springs put-in 2
Miracle Hot Springs put-in
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The U.S. Forest Service recently released the revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Forest Plans (DFP) for the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests. As part of this process, National Forests are required to identify the eligibility of rivers for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Once a river is found eligible it is managed to protect the values that support their inclusion. To that end, American Whitewater has identified recreation as an outstandingly remarkable value on many iconic whitewater rivers within the Sierra and Sequoia National Forest and is advocating for their inclusion into the inventory of eligible Wild & Scenic Rivers. Dinkey Creek Photo by Daniel Lundberg
American Whitewater and the local Sierra Club River Touring Chapter filed comments on Southern California Edison’s application for a new license for the Borel Hydroelectric Project. This filing is part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process for this project. American Whitewater and the Sierra Club River Touring Chapter have participated in this relicense process since August 2000. This relicense proceeding is a 5.5 year commitment.
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