Kern County lets it be widely known the the Kern River is both an attraction and a risk to visitors. People are known to underestimate the river’s current and drown. Many parks and camp sites run along the river, as well as there being in-river activities ran by various businesses throughout the state.
If you want to go in the river, do so in a controlled environment (like a kayaking tour ran by locals). If you are doing activities nearby the river, watch out for slippy areas and be advised of water conditions before going. Hikers have also been known to cool their feet or wade into shallower parts of the river- be warned that calm waters can be deceptively cold and hide currents that can easily overwhelm even strong swimmers.