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Old 01-16-2015   #1
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
Gates of Lodore for small kids

Howdy folks.

It's permit app season, so I'm making sure I get all mine in on time. How suitable is Gates of Lodore for small kids - a 6 yo and a 3 yo? I've never run that stretch and would like input from those of you that have been on it and if with small kids even better.


By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 01-16-2015   #2
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Depends on time of year, your children's comfort level with whitewater, and your abilities. There are plenty of people who could do it and have fun, but many more for whom its probably a bad idea.

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Old 01-16-2015   #3
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
I now have a 2 and a 5 year old. We have floated the Main Salmon, San Juan, and Deso with kid(s), but probably wouldn't do Lodore...Theres not a real good walking option at Hells, and Split Mtn, while not really hardcore, is not a risk I'd take with kids...
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Old 01-16-2015   #4
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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Posts: 1,768
Good to go after peak flow you may want to walk the kids around hells half mile depending on your skill level. Last trip I was on took 8 yr old through and a buddy took his 4 yr old. No problems for us but definitely make your own call.
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Old 01-16-2015   #5
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 181
I would worry far more about the kids being exposed to the rangers at Lodore than the river...
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Old 01-16-2015   #6
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
You could take out above Split if those rapids worry you.

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Old 01-16-2015   #7's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
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I went down there with 9 and 12 year olds, experienced, strong swimmers and it worked out good. I personally would not take any kid on that stretch of the green that could not self rescue if necessary.

The ranger was more than a little bit full of himself.
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Old 01-16-2015   #8
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Salida, 81201
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 143
These are great post. I also have been thinking about taking my kids on this stretch too.

Thank You
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Old 01-16-2015   #9
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
I hold to don't boat it if you won't swim it, and there is too much in Lodore that I would not want a 3 y.o. swimming. I think 6 is the youngest anyone will take commercially. YMMV... Other than rapids that are higher consequence than fun, it's a great trip for kids with short river days, great camps, and fun hikes.

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Old 01-16-2015   #10
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ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
Here is a write up on my experience of this exact subject... The Gates of Lodore vs the First Day of Kindergarten.

Please take into account though what lmyers said about your experience and the comfort levels of both you and your kids. I am a very experienced boater and my daughter is a very seasoned camper and boater, so our comfort level is different than many peoples. Having said that, the Gates of Lodore definitely pushed my comfort level a little bit, (just with bigger rapids that I didn't know.) But for us the experience was beautiful and well worth it!

Also, just to throw it out there... there are a ton of Awesome multi day trips that have less intense whitewater. There has been a recent thread about it here... Also, a great resource for family boating is the FB group River Kids, and there have been some recent family multi day discussions happening on there.

Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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