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Old 01-06-2015   #1
Palo Alto, California
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
"Classic" Multi-day River Trips Info

So my girlfriend is turning 30 this coming summer and, to celebrate, I want to organize a multi-day kayaking/rafting trip for us, our friends, and her family. Since here birthday is in the middle of permit season (around July 4th) for most rivers, I have to apply to permits. Since odds are that I won't get a permit if I apply for just one river, I need to apply to many different permits.

My next issue, and why I am posting here, is because I need solid beta on the different rivers I should apply for. Ideally it would be a 3-day / 2-night affair on semi-continuous class III with some class IV mixed in (we don't want a flat water float or class IV/V action). We are open to almost anywhere in the western US.

My current list includes:
Hell's Canyon of the Snake
Rogue River (OR)
Tuolumne (as a backup if all else falls through since I know this river)

Although I can find plenty of information about the permitting, outfitters and commercial trips, I'm finding it quite confusing to find straight-forward river descriptions. I'm looking for something like, but there aren't write-ups on there for these rivers. Even on American Whitewater, I'm not even sure which stretches of these rivers I am supposed to be looking at since most sites talk about them as if there were only one section (e.g. is the classic multi-day Rogue Lost Creek - Gold Ray or Grave Creek - Foster Bar or something else?)

Can anyone clarify which sections of these rivers are the "classic multidays" so I know where to start looking? Can anyone point to good write-ups on these sections? Anyone have recommendations for other multi-days around July 4th in the Western US?

Thanks a bunch!

allro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
week of July 4th, check out the middle fork of the salmon. plenty of youtubes just do a search.

okieboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015   #3
NIMBY, Oregon
Paddling Since: Womb
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 97
Grave to Fosters is the Rogue multi-day trip and seems to fit your want of a class III(two IV's) multi-day. There is plenty of video and scouting opportunities for both the class IV rapids(Blossom Bar and Raine Falls). You can put-in at Galice for a couple extra miles and it simplifies the shuttle.
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Old 01-06-2015   #4
Coos Bay, 97420
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 21
I over night on the Rogue mostly and it has two sections that are great 3 day 2 night trips and then the wild and scenic part that is truly amazing but takes more days and permits (Graves Cr. to Foster Bar approx 35 miles). We commonly put in at Robertson Bridge and take out at Graves Cr. It's about 20 miles and has Galice resort in the middle which has dinning and store if needed. Also, you can put in at Foster Bar and take out at Lobster Cr. Both of these sections are about the same length, have really easy shuttle route to get cars down river, require NO permits but only offer class I/II rapids. The permit section Graves to Foster have the rapids you want, but will require more than three days and permits.

I good source of info for the Rogue can be found by googling "Rogue River float Guide BLM".
Bradd B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015   #5
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
Lower kalamath is a good long trip and is not permitted. Down side is its road side, but very low traffic at night so camping is pretty peaceful and feels wilderness. Upper k can also be done as overnighter. Best to drive to Frain Ranch with camp gear and keep boats light as the whitewater is plenty challenging and you don't want to swim.

Rogue from graves to foster is great but I wouldn't bother driving for any other sections unless or already close.

The grande Rhonde is also a great long trip with spectacular camping and hiking but no whitewater.
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Old 01-25-2015   #6
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
If you want to increase your chances of getting a permit, add the Main Salmon to your list, too. You can apply for 4 launch dates to each of the 4 Idaho permitted rivers, and the Main in early July is beautiful and fun. Higher odds of scoring a permit for it than for the Middle Fork Salmon, but it's worth applying for all 4 to help your overall odds. I like the Main better than Hell's Canyon, but it's just a personal preference. They are both beautiful in their own ways. Selway and Middle Fork always spectacular, but just so much harder to score the coveted permits.
So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 01-25-2015   #7
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 60
Classic Multiday Trips

The Tuolumne is pretty much the only classic multi-day river with challenging rapids that you can do a 3 day summer trip on in the West. The Selway and the Middle Fork are typically 6 day trips and tough to get permits on. The Rogue is Class II/III with one Class IV.

If you have the skills and the timing is right you might want to consider the South Fork of the Salmon or Big Creek in Idaho.

Here are a couple resources with good river descriptions worth checking out:

Whitewater Guidebook

World's 13 Legendary River Trips

Good luck. It's hard to beat the Tuolumne. Put in just below Lumsden Falls for an extra 2 miles to start your trip. And if California is in drought again you can go past Ward's Ferry to do a bonus section.
zcollier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015   #8
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 47
You only have 5 days left to get your application in on the Rogue. I would recommend faxing in your application early this week.
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Old 01-25-2015   #9
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
For research I find this to be a great resource of western multiday river porn. Rafting the West | The Top Multi-day Whitewater Rafting Trips in the Western USA

If you miss out on permits, the Warm Springs to Sandy Beach stretch of the Deschutes is a nice three day float. I'm not sure I would consider driving from the Bay area to Bend just for this trip, but it would work in a pinch.
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Old 01-25-2015   #10
InflatableSteve's Avatar
Cave Creek, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 671
Originally Posted by TriBri1 View Post
For research I find this to be a great resource of western multiday river porn. Rafting the West | The Top Multi-day Whitewater Rafting Trips in the Western USA

If you miss out on permits, the Warm Springs to Sandy Beach stretch of the Deschutes is a nice three day float. I'm not sure I would consider driving from the Bay area to Bend just for this trip, but it would work in a pinch.
Cool link. Thanks for the post.

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