2022 Kern River Camping
The Kern river provides some of the best camping in Southern California. With many of the campgrounds located directly adjacent to the river, ample fishing, rafting and simply enjoying the river is available to campers.
The Kern river is generally divided into two different sections: Upper Kern and Lower Kern. More campgrounds are available on the Upper Kern than on the Lower. To also differentiate, we have added Kernville Camping, these are campgrounds located in or very close by to Kernville, CA.
Public and private campgrounds on the Kern river
Public campgrounds are managed by the USDA / Reserve America. Theses campsites vary in terms of amenities, such as water, RV hookups, and showers.
Private campgrounds are owned by companies and often provide more amenities than public campsites including laundry, flush bathrooms, showers and complete RV hookups.. Many, if not all, also have a designated camp host.
Kern River Activities
Kern River rafting: This the most popular area activity. There are three sections on the Kern River:
- Forks of the Kern. This is a Class V, multi-day wilderness rafting trip.
- Upper Kern. This is a half and full day section with various levels of rapids from Class III to Class V+.
- Lower Kern: This is a half day to two day section.
Kern River Hiking: There are tons of different hiking options in the area. Most hikes are strenuous, but there are some milder and flatter hiking options as well.
Kern River Fishing: Fishing on the Upper Kern and Lake Isabella is popular, with guided services available through the Kern River Fly Shop.
Kern River mountain biking: The Kern is famous for it’s trails, specifically the Just Outstanding Trail is one of the more popular downhill rides.
Upper Kern Camping
Campgrounds on the Upper Kern River, north of Kernville.
Kernville has a handful of campgrounds located in or right next to town.
Lower Kern Camping
Camping options along the Lower Kern River.
Lake Isabella Camping
Campgrounds situated around Isabella Lake.