Brush Creek - Rincon Camp to Kern River

Brush Creek, California, US


Rincon Camp to Kern River

Usual Difficulty IV(V) (for normal flows)
Length 1.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 360 fpm
Max Gradient 400 fpm

Brush Creek Overview

Brush Creek Overview
Photo by Daniel Lundberg taken 04/18/05 @ ?

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-11203580 30 - 400 cfs IV(V) 01h01m 5.03 cfs (too low)

River Description

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:   Sells paddling gear and has the latest news. creeks/brush/brush.html   Trip report and photos from 2005
http://www.awetstat .html  Photos and rapid descriptions at below 1 on visual guage

http://www.kimandge brushcreek032605 /index.html  Photos
http://www.kimandge brushcreek061006 /index.html  Photos

2007 Brush Creek Race youtube video 
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
Upper Brush-CaliProductVideo

Kern River Festival
Kern River Alliance
Kern Valley River Council

Bo James Drowning,  June 14, 2010










StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-12-22 18:20:11

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 9 2010 (3082 days ago)
baldoam (151663)
Check out this rockin' 9-year-old girl running.
She's got some sweet moves. I'm totally jealous. And I'm almost 5 times her age! LOL
March 27 2008 (3916 days ago)
Gene HackerDetails
On Monday March 24 the flow was just below 1 on the guage. On Wednesday March 26 the flow was just
over 1. Note: The pools below the bigger drops on Brush creek have silted in over the last week or
so. It is less than 4ft deep in the landing zone of the big drop. The pool below the biggest
sequence (that you can see from the road) is also silted. A bunch of folks were hitting hard this
weekend. Also...always be careful of down trees. We ran it twice yesterday and on the second run
there were two new trees across the river. This was in the span of an hour or two. It was a breezy
day but not crazy windy or anything. Anyhow...something to keep in mind.
March 14 2008 (3929 days ago)
x (1)
Thursday, Feb. 28th, just below 2.5 on the gauge. Saturday, March 1st just below 2.0. Friday, March
7th, at 1.0. Sunday, March 9th, just below 1.0. Sunday, March 9th gauge re-done, easier to read.
The numbers were all re-alligned to where they had been. Special care was made to make sure "3" and
"5" markings were unchanged. Monday, March 10th just below 1. Thursday, March 13 just above 1.
February 24 2008 (3948 days ago)
Gene HackerDetails
(Sunday, Feb 24 2008) At 2.30pm brush creek was a bit over 3 on the gage and dropping. At 4.30 it
was down right at 3. There is one log limbo which is to low when the water is anything above "super
low flow". There were two but we pulled one out today.
February 9 2008 (3963 days ago)
Gene HackerDetails
Brush Creek flows on Friday Feb 8th was below the guage. It is still runnable but very low. Any
lower would be unadvised. There is a low flow indicator that is better than the gauge for low driving up the road to the put in and stopping where you can see up the canyon/run...if
the largest drop you see (the double drop at the bottom of the large sequence) has water running
all the way across the lip (as opposed to just on the river left side) the run will go. Of course
this is very low. The drops are still all clean but the slides and boulder sections can be
frustrating. At flows below the gauge the run is not "destination worthy" but if your in the area,
and you don't mind sacrificing some plastic...its worth checking out. On Friday Feb 8th water was
all the way across the lip but just barely.

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