The section can be divided into three distinct runs.
The Cadilacs, a class 5 section.
Richbar, a class 3 4 section.
The Cataracts, an impressive class 5+ section.
The highway runs close to the river along this whole section so there are many potential locations for put in and take out. There are however many other areas where it is awkward and difficult to get from the river back up to the road if you get in trouble. Scout carefully from the many turnouts.
Other Information Sources: Camping Wikipedia Kern River Festival Kern River Alliance Kern Valley River Council Audubon, Kern River Preserve Wild and Scenic KernSequoia National Forest Kernville office phone # 760-376-3781 Sierra South store
FERC information: License #1930
All of the documents for KR1 can be found using a wildcard search athttp://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp#skipnavsub
Change the years to 1992 to 1999, use a docket number of P-1930-*, and keep clicking 'Next Page' until you reach the titles of interest. The Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for KR1 is athttp://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/searc...oclist=1835261
Key ruling from FERC:
"We don't recommend any flow releases for whitewater boating enhancement because of potential conflicts with other recreational users and because the existing whitewater boating use in the Kern River No. 1 bypassed reach is low compared to other recreational activities in the project area, despite the fact that flows are frequently available for either the "suitable" or "optimum" boating conditions. We believe that the available data indicates the current flow conditions allow for a reasonable balance of all recreation uses and that existing whitewater boating use is not significantly limited or constrained by the projects present operation. We do, however, recommend that Edison's work with the FS and other interested groups to develop a plan to monitor recreation patterns in the bypassed reach for 5 years to evaluate the need for future flow augmentation."
A GUIDE TO THE BEST WHITEWATER IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, HOLBEK & STANLEY, 1988
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. Because irrigation needs change by season and somewhat day to day, flows tend to be relatively stable each day. The KR1 powerhouse removes up to 420 cfs from the river, so flows in this section will be that much less than release from Isabella.
Since 2006 CDEC gauge info, is available in realtime for this reach. The readings are in feet/stage rather than cfs. The gauge is USGS #111925, located on the left bank about .4 miles below Democrat Dam.
See Dreamflows for an estimate of flow in cfs.
If the gauges are down, you can estimate flows by subtracting 420 cfs from the total outflow from Isabella reservoir, provided by the Army Corp of Engineers, at Isabella info
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
High water on the Kern
Kern at 5K
lower Kern canyon
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!