As the water levels are getting lower on the Kern River, we are transitioning into our single and double person "mini-rafts." Also known as inflatable kayaks, or duckies, these are a river guide favorite! We understand that the word "kayak" might sound a little extreme to those that are not familiar with this boat. However, these mini-rafts make it easier for you to navigate the Kern during lower water flows, be more in control of your own adventure, and have more fun!
Easier to maneuver
Once all the snow begins to melt from Mount Whitney, the Kern River gradually lowers in water flows. Believe us, we would go rafting all year long if we could! At these lower water flows, the bigger rafts will get stuck on rocks that were not there during the high flows. This is why we start using the single and double person rafts. You can glide over rocks, and easily navigate down the Kern.
Control your own adventure
You are on your own in this mini-rafts so you get to be in control! A river guide goes down the Kern with you in their own raft, and he or she is there to help you if anything happens (like getting stuck on a rock). They will also teach you how to paddle and how to sit in the raft, and show you the best ways to get down the river. If you are in a double person raft, take our advice and paddle at the same time as your partner. Paddling in sync is the best way to stay on a straight and easy path down the water.
Safer rafting in lower flows
Because it is so much easier to get down the river in this smaller rafts, it actually creates a safer experience. Foot entrapment is a common hazard on the Kern. This happens when your foot is caught between rocks on the river bed. A main part of the safe speech you will hear before the tour is to never try to stand up in the river. When we have lower water flows, it is tempting to just try to walk or push rafts off of rocks; however we do not want any of our guests or guides getting injured trying to move big rafts that are stuck. Inflatable kayaks solve this issue perfectly.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have! Rafting season will end September 2, 2019 this year, afterwards we will be running inner tubing tours.