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Old 02-13-2010   #11
Toni's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 169
How fabulous you are doing the Grand, we cannot wait to get there!

We've been boating with our son since he did his first trip at 10 months. He is now 8, has his own kayak, has a roll, and can also do some mellow rowing.

Last summer we had the opportunity to do a low water Middle Fork, but wanted to be sure he was ready. While he has done Ruby/Horsethief, Pumphouse, Filter Plant, San Juan, Chama, Dolores and Lodore, we knew the MF was a considerable step up. So, we decided to do a few day runs (on the raft) on the more hoppin' sections of the Poudre. If any of that seemed to freak him out, we would rethink taking him on the MF.

He ended up loving all of it, which we were fairly certain he would, but definitely did not want to scare him and have a miserable child on a 7 day trip, in the middle of nowhere...or cause any mental blocks about being on the river.

I'm not sure about going from the San Juan to The Grand in one season? But you know him best.

Toni Frank
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Old 02-14-2010   #12
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
I've got two kids - 8 and 5. I've done Shoshone to Glenwood with them (at lower flows), lower Eagle, Pumphouse to Rancho as well as Ruby/Horsethief. They enjoy Ruby/Horsethief the most, it's the warmest. LOL As long as they are warm and relatively dry, they have fun on all of those mentioned. I'm looking to do Carbondale to Glenwood this year, as well as more of the same with them.

I'd join you for just about anything this summer if our schedules mesh...

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Old 02-15-2010   #13
penguin's Avatar
Tahoe City, California
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 53
Agreed about not taking a 6-8 year old down the GC. Too early, too much opportunity for big water problems.
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Old 04-03-2010   #14
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
We have a 6 year old boy and 8 year old girl, both love the river but always have more fun when there are other kids around!!! Would love to hook up with some boater kids for day trips or overnights, planning a Memorial trip somewhere around Moab.
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Old 04-12-2010   #15
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17
My kids are now 10 and 12 and we just got off the Grand Canyon ( 2 weeks ago). It was a remarkable experience. I was very nervous (note my many posts) about taking them but we had a remarkable time. I purchased drysuits for them and that was the best thing I did. They are are pretty river savey and we have a pretty big 16 foot CAT. We did meet some Canadians that had 6 kids on the trip ages 5-12. It was early on and I didn't get a chance to see had it turned out for them.

Anyway my kids did Deso Grey starting at ages 4 and 6 and then Ladore at ages 5 and 7 and the Yampa at 6 and 9. We had a rough go the first time around on Ladore. Just be sure to remind them DO not stand up in the river until your butt is dragging-there was a tradegy on Ladore involving an 8 year last year and a foot entrapment.

I also live in Colorado, so we are usually available for family trips. Since we were doing the Grand we didn't apply for other permits though.

My kids are growing fast so I have a lot of kids gear-hydroskins, hydrosilks, life jackets, splash pants and tops, drysuits etc... to move out. Contact me if interested or if you have any questions about the kids.
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Old 06-25-2010   #16
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
I'm curious about how much others let their kids float out of the raft. My daughter is 8 and I want to take her on a Ruby overnighter but I know she will get bored and will want to just float in the water. Thanks, Jason.
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Old 06-25-2010   #17
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
As long as they aren't cold and whining about it I'd let them float. Be sure to cover foot entrapment as mentioned above. I had not heard about the Lodore incident, Tragic.

The closest calls we've had, have always been on the beach at camp or a lunch stop.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 06-25-2010   #18
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17
Ruby Horse Thief is pretty tame. We had a strap that the kids hung on behind the boat because there was a pretty good current on the Grand. Of course they came in when there were rapids or they got cold. I like to make sure they are near the boat and slightly behind it. It is pretty easy to do with a CAT. Make sure you don't have anything else hanging in the water that they can get hung up on. Have Fun!
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Old 06-25-2010   #19
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Floating on Ruby/Horsethief is almost essential! Just be smart about when to let them out of the boat and get them back in when you approach shallower sections. Keep them away from the banks too. If you can keep them in the deeper parts of the river for their floating, they'll be safer and probably enjoy it more anyway.

Like was said, make sure oyu cover how to swim in the river, not to stand up, etc anyway, regardless. And do it often. I actually think it's a good place for little kids to get comfortable out of the boat in a relatively safe situation so they are more prepared in the event of a swim in other situations.

While you are at it, use it as an opportunity to throw them a rope and stuff like that too. It will be good for you and the kids!
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Old 06-25-2010   #20
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 144
My kids just did their first extended overnighter...a 5 day trip on the San Juan.

It couldn't have gone better, I can't imagine a better way to spend time with the kids.

They're ages 5 and 2.

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