Brush Creek, California, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||360 fpm|
|Max Gradient||400 fpm|
|SF TULE R NR CHOLOLLO CAMPGROUND NR PORTERVILLE CA|
|usgs-11203580||30 - 400 cfs||IV(V)||00h58m||10.5 cfs (too low)|
Brush Creek provides easy access to super fun rapids, slides and waterfalls. Brush can be run down to very low flows and still be fun. Most years it will have low to moderate flows which allows a wide range of boaters to enjoy themselves. In some wet years when flows get high, the run is experts only. The boating season generally starts in late winter, then extends through spring and some years into early summer. Flows can also be good after winter rain storms.
There has been a Brush Creek Down River Race during the Kern River Festival for a number of
years. This is always an excellent opportunity to view and participate in trash
talking and carnage as well as displays of boating skill. .
Getting There: Brush Creek enters Kern River about 19 miles north of Kernville. It is only about 1/2 mile downstream of the Johnsondale Bridge. It is about 70 miles and a 1.5 hour drive from Bakersfield. From the north it is probably quickest to exit highway 99 at Earlimart to travel through Ducor, California Hot Springs and Johnsondale to reach the Kern River. Because of the windy roads it will take nearly 2 hours from Earlimart. You can also take highway 99 to Delano, then take highway 155 through Glenville, Wofford Heights, and Kernville, but this is considered the slowest route into the Kern Valley.
Take out: There is a big parking lot at the confluence of Brush Creek with the Kern River. It is easiest to take out just after the bridge.
Put in: From the take out, go north on the main road a very short distance then turn right up Sherman Pass road. Drive about a mile and a half, to a large area designated as a helicopter landing pad. There is a plenty of parking off to the sides. Hike upstream along a dirt road till you see a heavily used trail leading down to the creek. The walk is about 1/4 - 1/2 mile to the creek (careful in the winter, there are some steep spots and it can get very slippery if muddy).
Other information sources:
SierraSouth.com. Sells paddling gear and has the latest news.
oregonkayaking.net/ creeks/brush/brush.html Trip report and photos from 2005
http://www.awetstat e.com/BrushCreek .html Photos and rapid descriptions at below 1 on visual guage
2007 Brush Creek Race youtube
2005 High Water kayaking youtube video
2005 Rafting - Video Two R-2 teams paddle Brush Creek at high water, June 2, 2005. (5.5 on the visual gauge).
2010, December video: Brush at 10 visual gauge
Upper Brush Creek story
Kern River Festival
Kern River Alliance
Kern Valley River Council
AW Recommends California Rivers for Wild and Scenic
February 9, 2016
Help Protect S. Sierra Whitewater Rivers (CA)!
August 4, 2016