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Kern Valley Recreation

We get a lot of the same questions when people call to book whitewater rafting trips or inquire about the Kern River Valley. One question that we get the most is, “What else is there to do beside rafting?” It’s extremely difficult to quickly answer that question since this valley is so incredibly diverse in recreation. So we decided to lay it all out for you! The long answer (or at least resources to the long answer):


Since we are located at the southern tip of the Sierra Nevadas the hiking here is endless. Go waterfall hunting, find swimming holes or if the time is right you’ll be in fields of wildflowers before you know it. Drive up river to higher elevation and cooler temps to check out the Trail of 100 Giants. There are multiple resources to help you discover what the best hiking trail is for you and your group. Have you been hiking in the Kern area? What is your favorite trail?


Purchase a map of the area created by some rad local adventurers:

Mountain Biking

There’s a lot of biking to be had around here but for this purpose we’ll stick with mountain biking. With dramatic elevation changes throughout the valley and views of Lake Isabella from all directions our mountain bike trails are some of the best in the west. A few popular local downhill single tracks are Just Outstanding, the Cannell Plunge and Keysville Classic. Here are some resources to help plan your mountain bike ride.



There is fly fishing galore when the Kern River is at the right flow! Fish from the shores or from your boat while cruising Lake Isabella. Our waters are stocked by the local fish hatchery, aslo something to go do (especially for the kiddos), see their museum and get a tour of their process.

Guy Jeans Fly shop offers a variety of courses and fishing trips, located in Kernville.

Get your license:

Lake Isabella Recreation

Looking for some flat water fun after an exciting whitewater rafting experience? Lake Isabella is perfect and our friends at Sierra South will help you out with SUP and Kayak rentals.

If you are a wind chasing kiter here is a link with all the info you need to include kiteboarding in your vacation plans.


While it definitely gets too hot to climb at most of the local, practically in town crags, this doesn’t mean you can’t find epic climbing relatively close.

Sport and Trad:

The Needles 

Buy the new Needles guidebook

Dome Rock

If the weather is on the cooler side, a couple of the best local sport/trad areas are the Kern Slabs and New Directions

Buy a local guidebook:


There are a few opportunities to practice yoga at Co-Work and the Riverside Park in Kernville! 

Yoga with Kate– Mondays and Wednesdays

Yoga with Geneva and The Outside Way– Tuesdays and Thursdays 






Enjoy your time in this beautiful land. And don’t forget to take care of the our precious outdoors, leave any area you use better than you found it. Together we can keep our public lands public and garbage free!

Photos by Black Owl Media

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