Originally Posted by cjhaines
The Salmon I think is one of our top choices if we could get a permit. How's the whitewater? Like you said I think we could handle lower but how would the middle fork/main be with limited experience? Our other option I guess is Hell's Canyon maybe for something that long?
You mentioned the Green, Payatte, and Westwater. Were you rafting or kayaking? If you were rafting, were you rowing, or a passenger? This info will help with recommendations. If you rowed Westwater and some of the Payette, then you should be fine on the Main Salmon. It's class III - III+ depending on water level/time of year. The MS was my step-up river trip when I was starting out. The Middle Fork is another level step-up. More remote, more difficult rapids at various levels, more technical rowing overall. Both are 6-8 day trips depending on water level & your schedule. Both are fantastic trips. The Main Salmon is a better family trip with kids. You can definitely get into trouble on both, but much more so on the Middle Fork. Both require permits that are obtained by lottery in the winter/spring.
Another fun family trip that's closer would be Deso. Also requires a permit. Class II-III and 5-7 day trip. Can get really "buggy" from mid-May into June with mosquito hatches, but that's usually when the water level is at it's best.
Good luck and welcome to the river addiction. Prepare to empty your wallet, but have the time of your life!