Originally Posted by seandaniels
We do need a guide and gear, but we are not really interested in doing something with a group of 24 people. Is that possible?
Edit: Didn't realize the date on this post, I see it's pretty old, but I will leave my post up for others who are looking for similar trips in the future.
I have a solution for you.
1. You want remote life changing experience with your bro and dad
2. You do not want other people in your group
3. You are capable of handling yourself in the wilderness
4. You need full gear
5. You want exciting rapids, but not to die on the first one.
My advice to you would be a self guided trip through Desolation Canyon on the Green River in Utah.
1. Easy to obtain a private permit (recreation.gov) look for cancelations for Desolation Canyon.
2. River Runner Transport "Self-guided, full support river running and white water rafting adventures: safe shuttle services, full or partial support river trips available, and complete, delicious meals are prepared. Whitewater river trips include: Gate of Lodore, Lower Yampa
in Vernal will supply fully loaded rigs for you guys (for a price of course). No need to buy any gear, they can supply everything and do your own shuttle. Talk to Melanie or Ed, tell them the Buzz sent you
3. River is rated an easy 3. I always take newbie rafters on this river to show them the ropes. It's easy enough for kids to run duckies, but big enough for newbies to get butterflies in their stomachs. Get a River Map and a gps and you are good to go.
4. Deso is one of the last few rivers in the US where a 7 days trip is possible without road access... it is true wilderness that most US doesn't see
5. Great hikes through out the canyon. It's a 5 day trip, but can be done in up to 10 days depending on how many layover days you want and how many hikes you want to cover.
6. You can run Deso as a complete rafter newb and survive.
Idaho has better/prettier options for wilderness trips (Main, Lower and MFS of Salmon), but as a newbie you shouldn't enter it on your own and commercial trips will be full groups. Also, on commercial trips you will feel like a tourist and not a rafter. They do everything for you... if it's your kind of thing, then ignore my post.
Other option of Upper Colorado would give you lots of car traffic, most of the Colorado river in Colorado state goes along the freeway... so not much of remoteness sense there. Dolores river is a great adventure, but it never flows anymore. Yampa/Lodore in Utah/Colorado are wonderful choices, but good luck getting a private permit.... the only option is commercials, but again.... do you want to be catered or not? Cataract canyon is only 4 day trip and should not be attempted without a guide. Cataract are the biggest rapids in the United States at high water. San Juan is a great family trip, but hardly any whitewater, one class II+ rapid is about all you get. So Deso is your only choice for a self guided wilderness trip that you can do with your family on your own. Good luck!