Monday, July 23, 2007

Kayaking the Lower Kern River

Its been a pretty sad year for whitewater in California. The lack of snow this winter really hurt the river levels this year. BUT, there's still some decent water to be had on the lower Kern River below Lake Isabella! Water is released from the lake and the Borel Canal above the 11+ mile section of class 4 from Miracle Hotsprings to Democrat take out. (The run can be cut in half by taking out at Delonegha boat launch.) Lately the flows seem to be ranging from 700 cfs -1150 cfs. I'd say 1,000-1,100 cfs is the most fun, with the most play spots throughout the run. I am constantly surprised that this run isn't completely packed with boaters. There are tons of great waves, play holes, class 3 and 4 rapids, and great scenery with an easy shuttle.

Here's a short video of Deadman's Curve, a class 4 rapid above the Delonegha Bridge, at about 1,000 cfs:


More info on the Lower Kern is here or here.

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