The river rafting season in California has been very up and down so far this summer. Outfitters are closing the season on some natural-flow rivers in the Sierra earlier than expected because of the state's drier-than-usual year while rivers relying on reservoir water will continue to cash in on last year's big snowpack.
Trips wrap up this week on the Merced River south of Yosemite National Park and the Kings River, east of Fresno, this week because of low water flow, according to Bob Ferguson of Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions. The season for these rivers typically lasts until the Fourth of July.
"We're running low-water half-day trips," Ferguson said in a statement. "We're having those issues on any river with a natural water flow."
The same holds for the Forks and Upper Kern River in Sequoia National Forest, also dependent on spring runoff. Last weekend marked the end of trips to those locations for Kern River Outfitters. "It was a fabulous but relatively short season on both of these stretches of river this year," Luther Stephens, general manager of Kern River Outfitters, said via e-mail.