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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
A classic Class C Sierra canyon of interlinked pools in bare granite. Short and beautiful with a good combination of slides, jumps (optional), and rappels.
Be smart! Although this is a frequently-visited canyon in season, always be prepared with enough gear to replace webbing and rapides in case they are worn or missing. At minimum, you will need: helmet, harness, rappelling device and biner, and 2x60 ft ropes. Check out the canyon flow before you commit - several challenges may be too powerful for even the most experienced during strong flow. Before jumping from any height, send at least one person down to assess pool depth and check for any hidden obstacles. As always, carry extra rope. Crossing the Kern River can also be dangerous. Know what you're doing!
For the bottom-up approach, follow the River Trail across the bridge, down a flight of stairs, and then north along the east bank of the Kern River. The safest river crossing is approx 800' upstream of the confluence with Dry Meadow Creek (Seven Teacups). After crossing, hike and scramble up and up, angling slightly south toward the head of Dry Meadow Creek. Drop into the creek shortly above the first teacup.
Begin by hiking in the water and on the rock. Enjoy rappelling, down climbing, jumping, swimming, and otherwise navigating the teacups.
If the Kern is low and crossing easy, you can cross at the confluence of Dry Meadow Creek and the Kern River. Otherwise, hike approx 800' north along the bank to the safer (shallower) crossing. Hike back along the River Trail, which provides some excellent views when it climbs high above the river.
Check out the Triplog.