Welcome to Kernville & the Kern River Valley
Our town of Kernville, previously known as Whiskey Flat from the old days of the Wild West awaits you!
It began as a place for those seeking their fortunes in the Big Blue Gold Mine in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains on the Kern River in 1860. Alcohol was not allowed at the mine site, so an industrious fellow threw a plank across a couple of whiskey barrels down on the flat south of the mine and so named it Whiskey Flat. A few years later in 1864 the name was changed by the people of the growing town to the less wild and woolly name of Kernville (named after the artist Edward M. Kern who had accompanied Captain Joseph Walker in the expedition in 1843). Families were moving in and it was no longer fitting to have the name associated with "demon rum," as the ladies of the town called it.
Present day Kernville has flourished and attracts visitors looking for a wild west experience to families and adventure seekers fixed on whitewater rafting and kayaking to stand up paddling and tubing to mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, camping, antiquing and other recreational activities. Fishing is extremely popular and our native trouts are highly sought after by anglers of all ages.
Kernville is also the gateway to the Trail of 100 Giants and many other Giant Sequoia groves within the Giant Sequoia National Monument.