Children and the main salmon - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-07-2013   #1
 
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Children and the main salmon

Here's the question

Two children 4 1/2 and 6, both are good to great swimmers (for their age)
Both have rafted rivers such as the chama and pump house

Would it be reasonable to take them for a late season (aug) likely low water year trip down the main salmon. Having them likely walk the two or three bigger rapids. And how feasible is walking those rapids with kids while one oars person takes the raft down river.

Thanks

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Old 02-07-2013   #2
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absolutely. even late August can be very hot down there though, but I am a wimp when it comes to heat. Umbrellas or a canopy maybe.

Lots of LARGE sandy beaches and relatively warm water. Even though easy(ish) I would love to see you have backup - as in another boat along. Pretty sure there is trail along the river at least on one side or the other all the way.

Your level of expertise and comfort and big class 3 will guide you. And that time of year most of it won't be so big.
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Old 02-07-2013   #3
 
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Thanks crave

We absolutely will have at least 3 rafts possibly 4 with safety kayakers as well.
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Old 02-07-2013   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erdvm1 View Post
Thanks crave

We absolutely will have at least 3 rafts possibly 4 with safety kayakers as well.
Attaboy. It's a great river to go camping with the kids. Have a ball.
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Old 02-07-2013   #5
 
boulder, Colorado
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How many days would you recommend at med-low water? I always feel like we are rushing. Are there any good rest days, or hike days? Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2013   #6
 
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My rafting buddy got his granddaughter started on the Main Salmon at age 4, and now she's 13 and rowing the raft with her mom! It's a great family trip. Awesome camps & beaches, lots of cool history stops, and fun rapids. My friend's granddaughter called rapids "splashies" when she was little. She loved helping in the kitchen and washing the dishes. There is a river trail on river right pretty much the whole way down. Make sure you bring a tarp for shade. August can be hotter than hell, but the water temp is awesome. Lots of sunscreen and a good hat for the little (and big) peeps. The Main is my all time favorite river trip. You'll love it. Feel free to PM if you have any questions.
KJ
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Old 02-07-2013   #7
 
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Originally Posted by shoenfeld13 View Post
How many days would you recommend at med-low water? I always feel like we are rushing. Are there any good rest days, or hike days? Thanks.
The commercials do it in 6 days/5 nights. That's the standard. Take the max number of days your group size allows. We keep our group to 10 or less so that we can take layovers (only allowed in non-reserve camps). Good hikes all over the place. Last year we floated down to Spring Bar to take-out and took an extra night on the river. It was great. We didn't even care about the road across the river. Being on "River Time" is the best place to be.
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Old 02-09-2013   #8
 
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We've got a July 31st launch with a bunch of kids in the 4 to 6 range. They've all had substantial river time- they've been on the San Juan, Labyrinth, the Smith (MT), and stuff like Pimphpuse and R-HT. We're planning on having them walk at least 3; whatever looks sketchy. I've been down a few times at low water, and most of the named rapids are pretty straightforward. One thing to start talking to your kids about is rattlesnakes and how to avoid places where they hang out.
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Old 02-09-2013   #9
 
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The Main is a great kids trip. My kids were 5 & 7 when they went for the first time, now we try to make it an annual July/August trip. Five days is a bit quick, go for 6 or more. I have not seen a bunch of rattlers, but I am sure they are in there. I have had trips with a lot of yellow jackets, by a lot I mean all members of our party were stung 2 times or more. It varies from year to year, but plan on bringing sting-ease and if there are bee allergies on the trip, take multiple Epi pens. As others have mentioned, on-boat & camp shade help take the edge off.
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Old 02-09-2013   #10
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Speaking of epipens we had to jump through hoops one year to get a doc to 'prescribe' an epipen for a Selway trip for someone who didn't have one and was highly, highly allergic to bees and poison ivy.

Is this still the case? We fortunately didn't have to use it and I threw it out years ago, but would like to carry one prophylactically.

FWIW - I have been teaching my daughters to 'swim' in class 1,2 riffles starting at age six. With me and solo next to the boat. There are a few drops out there that would be perfect for such a thing, if you are so inclined. My kids love it and the water temp in August would be awesome for this.
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