Mountain and River Adventures
Photo © MRA
It all began on the Kern River, late one winter evening around a smoky campfire. Three friends, dreaming big and longing to turn their love of the outdoors into a business partnership, created a plan.
That campfire inspiration became Mountain & River Adventures, affectionately known as MRA to guests, staff and the local community. Our doors opened on April 1, 1989, and the one partner who steadied the course has never looked back. With only three boats, a handful of guides and an old yellow van to shuttle customers, the dream began.
In 1995 Mountain & River Adventures expanded its river operation by offering camping and meals, which include a more full-service adventure menu, to guests. John's dream, sketched out on the back of a dinner napkin, was coming to fruition, but not without a lot of blood, sweat and tears as he oversaw the grueling work it took to carve out 33 campsites on 15 acres of boulders and scrub brush. That dinner napkin design included a private raft put-in, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, an outdoor dining area, Bull Run Pavilion, Bud's Grove, and what is now regarded as "the best” campground restroom on the Kern River. Our Bull Run Pavilion, a sculpted boulder amphitheater, has become a fun venue for camp movies and live music, while Bud's Grove has evolved into a "favorite for local's" wedding location.
Another expansion in 2006 opened up the entire stretch of the Kern River to MRA. Once known for our excellence as a powerhouse run company, MRA offers our customers outstanding river trips on any segment of the Kern River you could dream of paddling. Fast forward to today and MRA is truly a full-service, outdoor adventure outfitter with strong stewardship ethics and community priorities.
John and his wife Rhonda believe in creating pure, fun, and memorable experiences that connect people with nature and each other. They are passionate about white water rafting and the beautiful Kern River. Combining over twenty years with environmental stewardship of the Kern River Valley, MRA is ready to share their passion and insights with you and your family. Our whitewater guides have safety and special training working with children. We offer professional instruction for beginners and experienced guidance for even the most seasoned white water rafters. Our Kern River rafting tours are filled with white water excitement that will provide team building and bonding with nature and each other.
We offer affordable rafting tours that offer an escape from traffic and technology. The Kern River Valley is a beautiful destination that offers many outdoor recreation options.
Raft trips are not only fun and exciting, but they are also a chance to learn about and enjoy the great outdoors and the breathtaking beauty of the area. We use several techniques to help our guests learn more about the area: we incorporate stewardship information into our correspondence and advertising, we have enhanced our guide training to include information and history about the area, we include river etiquette in our safety talks, and we use the Internet to provide information about the river, the lake and the surrounding area not only to our guests, but to anyone surfing the web.
In addition to rafting trips, we also offer shuttle service to world-class mountain biking trails that drop from the towering Sierra Nevada to Kernville including the Cannell Trail.
We believe that these messages add value to everyone’s experience here. We have even built the discussion of these environmental topics into our high school scholarship and college Internship programs to help students focus on solutions to local issues.
• White Water Rafting
• Mountain Biking
• Full service Campground along the shores of the Kern River
• Climbing Tours
• Team Building Courses
• Guided Sequoia Tours
• Kayaking Eco-Tours of Lake Isabella
Typical Class of Water: Class I-III, Class III-IV and Class V
Best Seasons for Experiencing April through September
Access points vary, depending on river trip selected.
With proper notice, we are able to provide many of our adventures to folks of varying abilities. We frequently work with groups such as Adaptive Aquatics, Leaps and Bounds, and have even taken blind groups down the river.
Mountain & River Adventures serves as a model for other outfitters. Our innovative strategies and the way we serve the needs of our customers are often noticed and then put into practice by other outfitters. MRA is committed to helping maintain and improve the outstanding qualities of the natural environment along the Kern River and within all of our operating areas. We firmly believe that natural, cultural and historic features should be left in the same condition as they are found. We stress this in our guide training with the practice of Leave No Trace principles, in our company-wide recycling program, participation in Litter Clean Up events and we encourage each and every guest to follow our example.
Our campground is a pet friendly facility. We do respect the California leash law, and request that pets be attended at all times to ensure their comfort and safety, while providing optimum enjoyment for all neighbors.