Originally Posted by MadraUisce
Thanks so much for all the prompt replies guys. This is obviously a very friendly forum and i know how nauseating and boring a newbie's questions can be but your help is really appreciated.
Our first preference would definately be the gc and definately to paddle. We may not have the time to do a full a trip But would like to spend at least 6 days on the river.
If we have left it too late cataract canyon looks nice. I hope to have something nailed down by friday one way or another
GC = 220 to 28o miles unless you hike out.
Six days = motors........ ^^^^^
Main Salmon is perfect time wise, temp wise can still be quite warm and it's one of the few that will still have some sizable rapids. Canyons and Mackay Bar would be two outfitters that I would recommend.
Cataract would be warmer usually. Quite a few big rapids that you do in basically two days. The rest is flatwater which is fun to get drunk on.
Since this is forum for mainly private boaters it is unlikely you will be able to nail down something by Friday. Permits will just be issuing for the Main and I don't know about the rest. Usually getting on a private trip, if you don't have the permit, is a bit of process of getting to know folks and you should have an idea of your capabilities to camp, poop in a bucket, cook in adverse conditions. If you have the permit then and no boat it is still a process to get it together from renting gear to qualifying boatmen, menus, shuttles and much, much more.
Find out what you really want to do and then apply yourself accordingly.
Do you want a catered trip? or do you want to apply for permits, rent gear and row yourself? However it sounds like you may not have experience in which case I would go with an outfitter unless you are willing to be patient and make it work out later.