Powerful Possum

IV

Rapid Rating

11.67

River Mileage

About Powerful Possum Rapid

The rapid was formerly called Deadman’s Curve due to a Highway 178 car accident.

As you make your way downstream of Buffalo Canyon, look for a sweeping left hand turn with a grassy bank on river right. This is a large eddy that allows you to easily pull over and scout on river right. There is also a smaller eddy on river left to scout from as well. Those that know the run prefer scouting on the left as you’re much closer to the rapid and the hike isn’t as far.

How to run Powerful Possum

Above 3500 CFS: At flows above 3500, this rapid is straight forward and practically washed out. Down the middle and hit everything straight.

3500 to 2000 CFS: There is a large drop at the bottom with hydraulics above. Start center going right of the hydraulics to set yourself up for the drop at the bottom. Don’t celebrate too early as the water pushes against the right wall after the rapid.

Below 2000 CFS: At lower flows, there is a line to the left between two entrance pour overs and once cleared, work your way back center. The bottom gets steep at these lower flows and can flip rafts so make sure you hit the final waves straight. It’s a fun one.

powerful possum rapid entrance on the Lower Kern

Looking upstream, the raft enters the rapid between the two pour overs. This is probably about 1,500 CFS. The other rafts in the background are pulled over on River Right in the far upstream eddy. Photo by Kern River Outfitters.

A raft nearly turning over at the bottom drop on Powerful Possum on the Lower Kern river

Not squaring up for the bottom drop and subsequent waves can turn rafts over. This is around 1,200 CFS. Photo by Kern River Outfitters.

This video shows Powerful Possum at 3,400 CFS. You can see how it’s clearly washed out.

Low flows – sub 1,000 CFS. Now it’s starting to get steep.