North Fork Kern River (Upper Kern)
The North Fork Kern River extends for more than 75 river miles from the inlet at Lake Isabella to north of Junction Meadow near Mt. Whitney. Upstream of Kernville, the drainage area is more than a 1000 square miles. Nearly all of the North Fork, from Junction Meadow to Lake Isabella, has been paddled by appropriately skilled and properly outfitted whitewater boaters. For additional information see Paddling the Kern River.
This Aqua MODIS satellite image* has been annotated with river features (blue), selected snow sensor locations (red), and a few prominent peaks (brown). Locations and mileages are approximate. River miles are taken from topographic maps. Hart Park, near Bakersfield, is at about Kern River mile 35, and the mileage increases as you go upstream. Except for the curious crescent-shaped deviation that includes Kern Falls, the river follows the geologically old, and much eroded, Kern Canyon Fault zone.
Also see this Kern River Basin Snow Courses & Sensors page with a Google Earth KMZ file that shows the location of Kern River basin snow courses and snow sensors, with links to the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) data page for each station. Or, see this overview map of the Kern River basin with snow sensor locations marked and linked to snow sensor plots from CDEC and California Cooperative Snow Surveys.
*The image used in this graphic was taken on January 12, 2005 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. For additional information see Winter Storms Lash the Western United States on NASA's Earth Observatory web site and the January 2005 Rivernotes.