California Whitewater Rafting with WET River Trips


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Camping and Hotels near the Kern River in Kernville

Kernville is the center of whitewater boating in Southern California. There are multiple runs on the Kern River ranging from class II and III family runs to IV and V more challenging runs on both the upper (above Lake Isabella) and lower (below Lake Isabella) sections. There is also the Forks of the Kern, a 2-3 day 18 mile wilderness run that is considered one of the premier advanced wilderness runs in California.

In close proximity to all of these runs are numerous campgrounds, lodges, and hotels. A few of the historic hotels boast that they once hosted movie stars such as Humphrey Bogart and other Hollywood stars. Many of the hotels have been renovated, but still keep their rustic charm of the past. Most of the accomodations are located within walking distance of the Kernville stores and restaurants, as well as the Arcade Saloon and Bar, a favorite of local whitewater enthusiasts.


Kern River Cabin - a unique vacation location. Enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature. Sleeps 14. A lovely rustic restful cabin about a mile from Kernville with easy access to the Wild & Scenic Kern River and the whitewater in the area.

Chuck Richard's Falling Water's River Resort - This riverside resort is a reasonably priced, hostel-like accommodation.

Kern Lodge - Owned by Marty and Sue Roefer, the rooms look like luxury cabins. Each room has a kitchenette and wireless internet is available.

Kern River Inn - Each room has a special name and theme. You can even stay in the whitewater room and sleep to the sounds of the Kern River! This inn is a member of the American Historic Inns and takes AAA. They also offer a great breakfast.

Kernville Inn - Newly remodeled, homey rooms with full kitchenettes available. All rooms have cable TV and air-conditioning, plus a refreshing pool to avoid the 100-degree heat of California summers.

River View Lodge - Sit out on the wraparound porch in your own private rocking chair and enjoy view of the Sierras and the Kern River! This loveley lodge offers a continental breakfast, kitchenettes, and rooms decorated in antique furniture.

Sequoia Lodge - You can put-in right at the lodge. The Sequoia was featured in Sunset Magazine and was the winner of the 2004 Beautification Award for its recent renovation. It is conveniently located near the general store and Cheyennes BBQ, one of the best BBQ's in California.

Sierra Gateway Cottages - these charming vacation houses are a home away from home. Full kitchens and outdoor barbeque grilles with river views. The cottages are high end luxury homes for your vacation.

Whispering Pines Lodge - A beautiful, full breakfast is complimentary! Quiches and potatoes are a great way to begin a day of paddling. In addition to rooms in the lodge, they offer cottages, bungalows, and suites. They also have a 1,000 square foot deck and pool.

Restaurants and Bars

Arcade Saloon, Bar and Grille - Head here for a fun honky-tonk evening. Open late for dancing, drinking, and partying to the jukebox and live music.

El Jacolito's Mexican Grill - Burritos, tacos, and all the classics.

Lok's Garden Landing - Chinese Food

Nelda's Diner - located a short drive from Kernville in the nearby town of Lake Isabella, this diner has the best milkshakes west of the Mississippi. Every combination of flavors imaginable. You won't regret a trip here after a long day on the river! Burgers, fries, and diner food also available.

Pizza Barn - Great pizza, fun atmosphere, big screen TV. The Barn is very busy on spring and summer weekends, so either call in your order ahead of time or get there early!

Riverside Cafe - Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this cafe is an excellent pre-trip meeting spot for boaters, plus the breakfasts are good and filling.

That's Italian - Italian food

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Disclaimer: River descriptions and classifications may change due to natural events that may create new hazards or flows. C-W-R advises that any paddler that uses this site be additionally informed by seeking out local news and updates for changes on this river.

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