North Fork of the Kern River (Ant Canyon)
|Flows:||500 to ? Current Dreamflows gauge|
|Put-in:||Ant Canyon Free Camping site|
|Take-out:||Day use site|
|Season:||Winter, Spring, early Summer from snow melt|
This stretch of whitewater isnít all that hard, but the rapids are long and busy. It is because of that nature that they would be tedious to scout, so it is desired to be capable at boat scouting. The run is easier then the downstream thunder section, but more demanding than the upstream Chamis section. Although there are no big horizon lines (at least not at the low flow of 540 that we had) it was a fun run. I think I actually preferred it to the Chamis section, besides the lack of scenery compared to that of the Chamis section.
Again a little disclaimer, I rated this class IV, it was all pretty easy class IV to IV-, but as the water comes up I would imagine it could be class IV+ but would doubt it would get too much more than that.
In my mind it is kind of hard to describe the rapids as it was pretty continuous. There was always class II going on that would occasionally steepened up into a harder rapid. I know that there are named rapids in there, I just have no idea where they are. So basically, read and run it all, it all goes, some channels might be junkier, but I never saw anything that was a no go.
Here are some pictures of typical steeper sections of rapids... Thanks to Brett Duxbury for helping me identify some of the rapids by name.
"Screaming Right Turn"
Take out: 8 miles past the Kern River Brewery on the right, there is a turn out across from a big metal railing. Use this day use area as Put in.
Put in. 2.6 miles further up 155, use Ant Canyon Free Campground for the put in.
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