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“We had a blast”

Mountain & River Adventures
Ranked #4 of 11 things to do in Kernville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We know how to create valuable memories for you on Kern River white water! Mountain & River Adventures (MRA) offers guided rafting tours of the Kern River that provide awesome vacation experiences for the whole family. We offer rafting tours that challenge, excite, and bond family members, while maintaining the highest standards of safety. Explore your passion for pure fun and commitment to environmental stewardship with us on an unforgettable Kern River rafting vacation. Just give us a call to chat!
Orange, California
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“We had a blast”
Reviewed 21 July 2012 via mobile

This was our best family trip. We did a 1 day class 4 river rafting trip. My 5 grown kids and I had our own boat, and Cara was our river guide. We had a blast...went through (9) class 4 rapids, which included 8 or 9 class 3 rapids, and a bunch of class 2 rapids. Cara our guide was fabulous...she knew every rapid, the story of the rapid and how it got its name, and gave us a safe and exciting ride. MRA provided a fresh food lunch, snacks and a stop on the river to jump off a rock. It's was a full day of floating down a beautiful river, some excitement in the rapids and learning about the Kern. Ask for Cara! She was the best guide ever.

Thank OCTodd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Irvine, CA
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“One Day Lower Kern River Rafting”
Reviewed 6 July 2012

River rafting is a thrilling adventure and the Lower Kern River offers 1 & 2 day rafting trips that are really fun.

The rafting section of the Kern River below the dam at Lake Isabella is about 20 miles long. The upper section (closest to the dam) consists of Class 3 rapids. The lower section has Class 3 rapids and quite a few Class 4 rapids (i.e. thrilling). There are 4 rafting companies that offer 1 day trips on either section or 2 day trips that run the whole 20 miles. The one day trips on the Class 4 section costs around $200 per person.

Everyone paddles the boat and must be able to respond quickly to changing paddling orders from the river guide. Paddling all day is a good upper body workout. This trip is clearly not for the weak or feeble. All rafters wear company provided flotation devices and helmets. The rafts have to be "portaged" around a Class 5 rapid that is too dangerous to run. Make sure to wear some sturdy closed toed sandals or shoes that can get wet and have some reasonably thick soles as you'll be walking up and down slopes to get in & out of the river often over slick rocks. Smooth bottom (i.e.old) tennis shoes will cause you to slip. A fellow passenger wore old tennis shoes and slipped at the "put-in" and smacked his knee on a rock and couldn't make the trip. He never got on the boat!

The Lower Kern is a beautiful river for rafting. There are plenty of boulders in the river and the water flows fast enough to provide challenging rafting. The Lower Kern River flow rate is controlled by the dam at the Lake, thus there is dependable rafting almost every year from April until about late August. Conversely, the Upper Kern River, often doesn't have enough water for rafting after a dry winter. After a wet winter, the Upper Kern River is also a fun river to raft.

On a trip July 1 & 2, 2012, I took the Class 4 rafting trips with two rafting companies, Mountain & River Adventures one day and then Kern River Outfitters the next. Both companies provided great rafting trips, both had knowledgeable guides and first rate equipment. The lunches on the river from both companies were good (sandwiches, fruit and snacks).

Each company splits up their 1 & 2 day "put in" points differently. Mountain River's Class 4 trip is about 12 miles versus about 9 miles for Kern River Outfitters, which resulted in an extra 90+ minutes on the river with the Mountain River trip. Either way, you get a great day of rafting and plenty of opportunities to swim in the Kern River in the "calm" sections. Don't forget to tip your river guide which is traditionally a very low paying job. Most of the guides do this seasonal job because they love it. $20 per person (which is 10% of the trip cost) would be appropriate.

The Mountain & River one day trip starts with check-in at 8:00am and gets back to Kernville around 5:30pm. There is street parking across from the Mountain & River Adventures office. You can leave your car keys with the office.

Kern River Outfitters has a fenced in parking lot which would be more secure than street parking. Again, you leave your car keys with the office. They also meet at 8:00 am and get back around 4pm.

The drive to Kernville from Orange County (Irvine) is about 3.5 hours, taking I-15 and US395 and CA178. The Navigation systems will all send you up the I-5 and US99, which is about 10 miles shorter, but then you have to go through LA County, which can often be congested.

Visited July 2012
13 Thank KenTennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodland, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“1st time down the Lower Kern River!!! Thanks Joey!!!”
Reviewed 29 June 2012

Thanks to our fabuous guide, Joey Walker, he made the entire adventure down the 15 miles of the Lower Kern River an amazingly unforgetable experience! My fiance and I are first timers and even though I got myself psyched for the Class IV white water rafting, I admit feeling nervous when we boarded our raft. However, with the confidence of our team leader, Joey, he aimlessly pulled us through various currents and made us feel safe, in control and secure! He shared history of the river and gave us excellent instruction on how to manuever the raft as a team! Thanks Joey! He is an asset to the Mountain & River Adventures! We highly recommended you ask for him!!!

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Poodlemom V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bakersfield, California
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Had a blast on the lower Kern!”
Reviewed 5 April 2012

We attended a class III / class IV trip on the lower kern that lasted 2 days. The staff was safe and professional and all times, although they will cater to the personality of the trip. Speaking of catering, the food is incredible as well. I plan on going again!

Visited August 2011
3 Thank JayApple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“In good hands”
Reviewed 28 September 2011

These guys run a good shop. It was with a little trepedation that I would be getting dropped off on top of a mountain with my mountain bike, left to my own devices to find my way down the trail. MRA was great in providing information while we planned for the trip then followed it up with more assistance when we got to town then even more help the morning of our ride. They gave us a map, written directions and a verbal description of what we were in for. Our shuttle driver was personable and has a long history in Kernville. We were definately well taken care of!

I can only imagine that they run all of their operations (river rafting, rock climbing, etc.) the same way.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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