I'm planning on bringing my boys to Bailey Fest to run Foxton. My older boys can handle Class IV, but the biggest thing my younger boys have run is Shoshone at Class III. They all have rock-solid rolls. My younger boys paddle Jackson Fun 1 kayaks. We definitely plan on scouting Foxton before running it. Does anyone have any advice for things to avoid on this run for little kayakers paddling little boats?
At the top, the boulder garden may be a bit much for the younger ones, but it's really easy to scout. There are some hazards in the boulder garden in the form of undercut and sieve rocks. The good news is that the water flows pretty slowly, so there's lots of time to make your moves.
Below the boulder garden the character changes and there are miles of fun Class III technical boating. The whole family will have a blast. It's easy to putin both just below the boulder garden or about a half mile above Foxton Road.
I've taken athletic and water-wise first timers down Foxton and they've had a blast. It's a matter of perspective.
I recommend the lower takeout if you're making a day of it. The lower takeout is below dome rock and below the little shanty town near the tall spruce trees on the left.
Foxton is really two runs: the boulder garden and the moderately continuous class III run below. They are separated by 1 mile of class I. The moderately continuous class III run starts where the access road from Conifer (Co Rd 97) hits the river.
I don't like the boulder garden--too many potential pin spots. It's just not worth it. One or two good drops at the end, but the rest is not good. Then you have the 1 mile of flat water until the rest of the run.
I agree with the previous posters about the boulder garden. I took a class III friend down Foxton at mellow flows and he swam in the boulder garden. It was OK, but I was super, super tense during his swim and was happy it ended well. There are plenty of places in that boulder garden where you don't want to go. The rest of Foxton is not nearly as dangerous.
i agree that foxton is the same difficulty as shoshone - but just know that foxton is much creekier. As long as everybody is used to dealing with rocks you'll be fine. The lines are just a little tighter and the river shallower if you flip. That said I think you'll be fine, and this is the perfect weekend to get on it as im sure there are gonna be lots of people out to help with lines/safety. Make sure to Take the older ones down waterton.
I basically learned to kayak on Foxton. It's an excellent beginner/intermediate run and it sounds like the perfect run for your family, just scout the boulder garden ahead of time or go with a guide. I also agree, if your older kids are up for a bit of a hike, Waterton would be great.