SoCal Rafting volunteers with Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivors Trust.

On Saturday, April 25th, SoCal Rafting was proud to host the guided river tour for the Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivors Trust. This was the third year, after a sixteen year gap, that the organization was able to hold the camp in Kernville. Josh Dodson, the President of the organization, noted that last year they were unable to send the survivors and their families down the river due to the water levels.

SoCal Rafting was more that happy to accommodate this year, and we offered up our services as a donation for the organization. We sent two groups of rafters down on Saturday, starting at 11 A.M. with a group of twenty-two.

Although the day started out rainy, the moment we got out on the water things started clearing up. Everyone was excited to take “Big Blue,” our rafting bus, from Frandy Park up to the start of the Hollywood Hustle, our one hour, three mile trip. We started with some safety tips and quickly unloaded our mini-rafts and began launching! Some of our guides were obliged to take the small children along in their rafts, and everyone was super excited to be testing their skills out on the water.

We got some great shots of the groups down at their final rapid at Ewings. Adam and Kiersten, two volunteers for the organization that went down with the first group, told us that it was “still worth it” even though the water levels are at a historical low. They had tons of fun and enjoyed rafting in our two person mini-rafts, commenting that they allowed a more hands-on experience, and really let the rafter use their own “power” to control the boat.

The day was a success and SoCal Rafting was glad to have had the opportunity to host this event. All of the burn survivors, their family, and volunteers had a blast out on the river, and we’re all looking forward to next year! No matter the day or the conditions, it is always a way to bring laughter and memorable times to spend a day out on the Kern River.

Hidden LA Rafting on the Kern River

Hidden LA Rafting Kern River
Lynn and Sylvia from Hidden LA joined SoCal Rafting for a fun day on the Kern River. First off, the ladies were very stoked about their short drive from Los Angeles. It took them under 3 hours to arrive at our River Toyz store in Kernville, CA. They couldn’t believe the Kern River Valley is so close to Los Angeles with so much adventure to offer.
We went whitewater rafting first. John was our guide. I scampered around the boat getting the GoPro footage. The weather was nice and sunny. Warm enough to wear board shorts and a tank top, but not too miserably hot. Our Class I-III rapids were just perfect for our Hidden LA guests. We sailed through Little Mama, chilled in Beaver Pond and then hit Big Daddy! We all stayed in the boat through Big Daddy…this time around. We paddled on through Straight Shot, splashed through Freight Train and then popped a wheelie on the Pop A Wheelie Rock. Last up was Ewings rapid. We went over the big rock a little sideways and backwards for some extra added fun.


Hidden Los Angeles on Big Daddy rapids Kern River rafting with SoCal Rafting.
Hidden LA Kayaking Kern River
Next trip down the Mighty Kern River was in our two person inflatable kayaks (IK). When I asked the ladies if they wanted to raft or IK next, Sylvia was all about river kayaking. Lynn agreed to be Sylvia’s paddling partner in our two person IK. John and I lead the Hidden LA ladies down as the safety boat. We were in a two person IK also. Lynn sat in front of the Hidden LA kayak. She was the power paddler. Sylvia sat in the back with a steering paddle. The Hidden LA ladies did a great job following John and I. They navigated through Little Mama rapids perfectly with great big smiles on their faces. We relaxed and talked for a bit in Beaver Pond. Up next, Big Daddy.


Diana watches as Hidden LA navigates the two person inflatable kayak.
Big Daddy has a rock known as the F-U rock. It can be a lot of fun. A lot of people swim the rapids because of this rock. I’ve swam Big Daddy a few times because of this big hump of fun. John and I kayaked up and over the rock and continued down the rapids. We turned around to watch the Hidden LA boat. Lynn and Sylvia did a great job entering Big Daddy and up and over the rock they went. They went over just a bit sideways. As I watched I thought they’d made it over. Just then Lynn popped out of the front of the kayak and into the rapids. She swam Big Daddy rapids for about 22 seconds. I was able to grab her as she approached our boat.
Diana grabs Lynn from the Big Daddy rapids on the Kern River.
I held onto Lynn as we finished going through the last bit of the rapids. John pulled her into our IK. She got a little banged up on the rocks and was a little stunned from the swim through the rapids. Other than that Lynn was just fine. I hopped into Sylvia’s IK and the four of us continued on down the river.
Diana and Sylvia in a kayak. Lynn with John in the other kayak. We continued down the Kern River.
After all the fun on the Kern River, Lynn and Sylvia joined us for our company BBQ. They relaxed in the peaceful surroundings of Kernville. We had some good food and good conversations. Before dark they were off and headed home back to Los Angeles. It was a great day. Thanks for the good times Hidden LA! Watch video on our YouTube channel of our rafting trip down the Kern River with Lynn and Sylvia.

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      • 2.5 – 3 hours from Los Angeles
      • 1 hour from Bakersfield
      • 1 hour from the Giant Sequoias


Kernville is a perfect place for fun and safe Kern River Rafting in California. The North Fork of the Kern runs right through the middle of this quaint, western town making it one of the most easily accessible whitewater rafting rivers in the world.

Kern River Rafting is made possible by Mt. Whitney’s snow melt.  The Kern River passes through the scenic Sequoia National Forest. The Kern is the only major river in the Sierra Nevada mountains that flows from North to South. It drains out just northeast of Bakersfield. If you’re looking for a new adventure in Southern California, check out Kern River Rafting with SoCal Rafting.

There are  many different sections that are available for Kern River rafting. SoCal’s slew of waterborne activities take place just north of historic Kernville, Ca.  Kernville  is Southern California’s perfect town for safe and fun Kern River rafting!  Activities on the Kern River include whitewater rafting, kayaking, paddle tubing, camping and fishing.  When it comes to Kern River rafting, SoCal Rafting is one of the best river outfitters in California! Check out our whitewater raft trips to see which one is the best fit for your family vacation.  Here are just a few reasons to plan your vacation on the Kern River with SoCal Rafting:

Fun for the whole family

Our main focus while Kern River rafting is to ensure that your class II/III whitewater experience is both fun and memorable. All of our guided river trips are available for families with kids from age 6 and up. Our rafting equipment is new and state of the art. Our raft guides are the best in the industry.

Our seasoned river guides love what we do!  Guide trainees participate in rigorous whitewater training each Spring.  We really do this stuff for fun!  It’s not uncommon to see our guides tag along on a trip, just to try out the latest prototypes of river boards, Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP), kayaks and more.  Our river guides boast experience on the Kern River as well as many other rivers throughout the United States.  All of our river guides are CPR and First Aid certified.


Whether you are looking for a gentle float or a whitewater adventure, contact SoCal Rafting today for your Kern River whitewater rafting experience!