Kern, California, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V+ (for normal flows)|
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:
Kern River Festival
Kern River Alliance
Kern Valley River Council
Audubon, Kern River Preserve
Wild and Scenic Kern
Sequoia 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 at
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 at
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
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
AW Recommends California Rivers for Wild and Scenic
February 9, 2016