5 Peak River Rafting Periods on the Kern River

kern river rafting

For anyone who loves the outdoors, rafting the famous Kern River in California is a must-try adventure. It’s also a great way to get close to wildlife and watch many indigenous species in this area. If you have never been on a raft trip on the mighty Kern, there are plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with nature while exploring this beautiful area. In addition to being an excellent outdoor activity, rafting provides a unique chance to see some of the abundant wildlife and plants of the earth. On a typical raft trip, you will follow a series of canals, rivers, streams, and lakes that wind their way through the remote mountains of the San Joaquin Valley. There are some must-see sites on both sides of the river.

May To October

A wooden bench sitting next to a body of water

Ideally, the best time for rafting on the Kern river is from May to October. Not only does this coincide with the fish migrate in, but it also coincides with the peak migration season for the river. The best time to raft the Kern river is during one of these periods. Generally, most outfitters of river cruises and camping trips offer a three-day minimum age limit for river rafting and camping trips. Many river cruisers opt to raft from May through October due to the abundance of wildlife during this time.

Mid-September To Mid-November

A boat floating along a river next to a body of water

Another ideal time for Kern river rafting trips is between mid-September through mid-November. This is known as the Salmon River flushes in its most fertile state. The rivers are filled with Chinook salmon, which compete for the best places at the river’s mouth. Some other native species of fish are also seen during this time. The peak months for whitewater rafting trips and camping trips on the Kern river are June through September.

Summer End

The third peak time to raft the Kern river is the end of summer. The fish have returned to the river in large numbers after spawning in the fall. Many outfitters will offer guided rafting trips on the Kern River in June, July, August, and September. However, guided rafting trips can be booked in late May or early June.

December And January

The fourth peak season to raft the Kern River is in December and January. This is also the time when the fish are migrating back to the river from the springs. The rafting companies will be booked full with people wanting to go river rafting in December and January. Before booking your trip, check to see if any of the outfitters in your area offer river rafting trips in December and January.

May And April

The fifth and final peak season to take a rafting trip on the Kern River in April and May. This is a perfect time for a river rafting trip because the fish have begun to migrate back to the river for the warmer waters. Also, in April and May, the National Park Service offers river rafting trips. However, it is best to check with the park service before reserving a trip.

Final Thoughts

No matter what season you go rafting on the Kern River, you are sure to have a great time. There is always plenty to do on a river raft trip. Relax by day on the river, then spend the evening at one of the rafting campsites by the river. Enjoy a great adventure and the beauty of nature as you go rafting on the beautiful Kern River in California.

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