Elevation: 450 ft
GPS: 35.441, -118.794 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 5,207 total · 72/month
Shared By: Logan Ladd on Feb 7, 2013 with updates from Shawn H
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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The Kern river canyon is a lost and found again boulderers paradise! It has seen very few avid climbers, as the the climbing community is some what small. However lately it has seen a serge in new developement, (specifically for bouldering) in the lower canyon. There are dozens upon dozens of Granite stones in the river bed as well as all along the banks. Due to the fact that the kern river during the summer months is "ragging" the rock has become polished leaving many otherwise beautiful lines practically impossible. Yet the lines that have been established as of lately are ones worth doing and the potential for hard projects is endless!! Most of the rock here is quality even the polished stuff has potential. You just need to have a good eye and a positive attitude !The canyon is a quiet and peaceful place to spend the afternoon bouldering with friends. And everything is very accessable. Most of the stones are right of the road waiting to be climbed! Winter is for sure the best time to go. And for access to certain areas across the river it is a must.

Getting There

From Bakersfield: Drive East on HWY 178, this will take you all the way through the canyon up to Lake Isabella. But the bouldering it self starts as soon as you enter the canyon and is throughout. As you enter the canyon there are three main areas in the first three miles. The first is at the mouth of the canyon, you can park just before entering and bail off the side walking up canyon a couple hundred yards. The boulders will be obvious. The second area is a little less obvious as it is on the other side of the River. 1.9 miles from the mouth, there is a big dirt turn off. Park here and jump stones across. Boulders are directly across and up canyon. The third area is the 3 mile turn out. huge, cant miss it. Park walk up the road 50 yards or so and cross the road. You will see a nice staircase cut in the dirt, Take it down and follow path to boulders.

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Location: Lower Kern River Canyon Bouldering Change
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Ryan Nevius
Chiang Mai, TH
Ryan Nevius   Chiang Mai, TH
This area description could use an edit. There are also a few decent areas to rope up in the canyon as well. Feb 10, 2013
I agree, as of now I was just trying to get something started for the bouldering areas I have been developing and it is still a work in progress. By all means though, if you have anything to add it would be much apreciated. Feb 11, 2013
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The Moser/Vernon/Paul guidebook refers to 3 different developed crags along the Lower Kern Canyon. These include:
the Gymnasium - a sport climbing area located on the north side of the Kern River, near milepost 24 on Hwy-178. There is another crag located on a steep cliff above the river approximately 5 miles downstream.
Owl Rock - Cracks and chimneys up a tower located on the south side of Hwy-178, at 2000 feet elevation, approximately 20 miles east of Bakersfield. There are 4 recorded routes: Owl's Attack (5.9), Owl's Anus (5.9), Owl's Revenge (5.9) and Yesterday's Hangover (5.8 A2).

Anyone with information about these and other developed areas is encouraged to post it here. Thanks! May 25, 2013
Dudes, I'm not trying to rip your development and I know how time consuming it is, but I want to come check some of this out and I literally couldn't use these directions to find anything IMO. You gotta give better directions with mileage to turnouts and more accurate topos. Please edit. Some of this looks fun. Nov 6, 2018