Porterville, CA 93257
- April to November
The South Fork Kern River flows through both the South Sierra and Domeland wilderness areas on the Sequoia National Forest. The headwaters to the South Fork Kern River are in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Inyo National Forest. The northern part of the South Fork Kern River in the South Sierra Wilderness flows through fairly open areas dominated by conifer trees, sage flats, and wet meadows. Downstream of this part of the river, the South Fork Kern River flows through a deep river gorge through most of this wilderness.
Kennedy Meadows is the only developed campground along the South Fork Kern River and is found between the Southern Sierra Wilderness and the Domeland Wilderness.
The South Fork Kern River can be accessed by the Pacific Crest Trail (2000), Wildrose Trail (36E01), and Haiwee Trail (37E07) in the South Sierra Wilderness. The Pacific Crest Trail (2000), Domeland Trail (35E10), and Rockhouse Trail (35E16) give access to the South Fork Kern River in the Domeland Wilderness. All of these trails have areas of steep grades and can be hot, difficult hikes in the summer. The South Fork Kern River can also be accessed from the Kennedy Meadows Campground.