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Old 01-29-2013   #1
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Kid friendly multiday options?

Alright guys- just got done with a whole lot of crazy in my life recently and I'm looking for something to look forward to this summer. I have 3 boys (ages 11, 10 and 7) that I have been taking on class III on day trips. I am pondering the possiblity of taking them on a good intro multi day trip.

I've got an AIRE 143D and a fair amount of gear (also planning on getting an IK for my older boy)- but I'd obviously need to pull together some other folks to make a trip happen.

Not really looking for huge whitewater but more of a "multiday rafting trips are fun!" sort of experience for them.

Oh yeah- I work until June 21 and then I have the whole summer off.

Any suggestions oh wise ones?

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Old 01-29-2013   #2
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Deschutes from Warm Spring to Maupin or Buckhollow to Heritage are great overnight for kids, you can do them as an overnight or take yout time and spend three or four days. There are outhouses so you don't have to introduce the groover quite yet.

Grande Ronde, Minam to Troy is great and can be done in three or four days.
North Fork of the John Day is a good three day spring run.

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Old 01-30-2013   #3
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150
NF John Day from Mengs Canyon put in to Monument is still floatable in a raft toward the end of June in an average snow pack year, but starting to get skinny. I would recommend this for kids, the water is cold when still raftable so wetsuit would be needed for kids in IK.

Grande Ronde is also a great kid trip latter on when the water is nice and warm in latter July. Hit it in the 1000 to 1500 range for good kid IK flow and bathtub swimmin water.

Send a PM if you want detailed info with the eye for kid planning on these runs, we take our neices on these.

Kids generally take better to groovers than adults do on their first trip.

We'll probably be on the GR in july post July 4th, with an upper upper minam horse pack-in Ik decent either before or after depending on snow pack, and again in mid-august for GR IK trip.

been going on the NF JD last few years in June, but this year will be upper upper Owyhee ELF IK trip followed by Alaska latter in June.

Some representative photos of NF JD and GR at low water (great kid time of year)
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Old 01-30-2013   #4
Wadeinthewater's Avatar
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 559
Gotta agree that the Grande Ronde would be a good choice. Other possibilities are the John Day from Service Creek to Clarno and the Rogue. The John Day would be warm and the kids could catch lots of bass. My kids always enjoyed the Rogue. I have never liked the Deschutes.
Real adventure is only one bad decision away.
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Old 01-30-2013   #5
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
If you want to go a little farther from home, the Main Salmon is my favorite family trip. 6-8 days depending on your group size, class III-III+ rapids, great camps, good water for swimming, and lots of cool history stops along the river to check out with the kids. You can usually pick up cancellation permits pretty easy all summer.
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Old 01-30-2013   #6
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
A friend of mine highly recommends both the Main and Middle Salmon at later summer flows for a family trip. I haven't been on either (yet).

Several options in western MT--NF Flathead, MF Flathead, Smith, and Clark Fork rivers. Only the Smith is permitted. The other 3 have one good II+ up to III+ stretch on each, the rest are I/II days with both primitive and developed camping options.
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Old 01-30-2013   #7
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 45
The Klamath River is also a great option - warm water, friendly rapids, no crowds.
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Old 01-30-2013   #8
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 460
Kid Multi Days


I second the John Day and Grande Ronde. From the Seattle area, the Deschutes is a doable 3-day weekend, and it runs all summer. It can get crowded, but still a great trip, and the water is more active than the John Day.

Send me a PM and we can talk specifics. We are always doing kid trips.
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Old 01-30-2013   #9
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Looks like I better start investigating Eastern OR!

What is the best source to looking up this kind of info?

Regarding "groovers" - my boys camp with me when I'm guiding on BLM land. Last time I took them to a real campground- they were confused why they couldn't jut pee on a tree and had to walk across the campground to use the the

Thanks guys- I appreciate it (and my boys will too!)
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Old 01-30-2013   #10
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
I have groover talk with my son before each trip, just so there are no surprises. He is 10 now, did the North Fork John Day over Memorial Day weekend when he was 6, 7 and 8 then moved to the Grande Ronde for a five day trip when he was 9. Not sure what we have in store for this year. I think Grande Ronde again over Memorial Day and a Main or Lower Salmon depending on how the permit fairy treats us.

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