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Outdoorsy 9: Whitewater Rafting The Kern, Kayaking The San Joaquin

Kern River Outfitters
A group on the Kern River in May 2017.

This summer we've been on the river a lot. Floating, some kayaking and well a lot of sunbathing. Rivers in Central California have been amazing this summer. They’ve been really high the past few months because of the record snowfall in the Sierra this winter. That’s generally a good thing, but it has made for some dangerous conditions.


Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
Anita Lodge helps lead kayaking trips down the San Joaquin River.

Earlier in the season, local authorities closed rivers like the Kings River to swimmers and boaters. A number of people in the Valley drowned because fast moving water can be so dangerous. This caution took a toll on rental industries like whitewater rafting. But now that flows have slowed, and the season is looking to be extra long this year, this episode will focus on two sports: whitewater rafting and kayaking.


In this episode we’ll travel deep into the Kern River Valley and learn how to whitewater raft on what’s known to be a mean set of rapids. Plus we’ll go on a group kayaking trip on the San Joaquin River and learn what kind of gear you’ll need to take up the sport.



  • Kern River Outfitters - for trip information click here
  • Kayak trips on the San Joaquin River - for guided tours click here


Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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