Whitewater rafting with children - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-28-2015   #1
Roguelawyer's Avatar
Grants Pass, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 214
Whitewater rafting with children

I am lucky to have six children ages 7,10,11,12,14,and 15. Unfortunately none of them row. The four oldest have quite a bit of experience paddling inflatable kayaks through class II rapids as we live on the Rogue River. The 10 year old has paddled some. They have only done day trips (primarily Hog Creek to Galice or Grave Creek if you know the river).

I am wanting to go on some overnight trips and would like to take the whole family. Currently we have a 14' Sotar and a cheap IK. I was thinking either the Deschutes might be a good place to start. I was either going to rent a smaller raft (10' - 12') and have the four oldest paddle or rent 3 or 4 Sotar IKs for those bigger kids.

I am not much of a paddle-rafter so I was thinking I might get a local guide to take the older ones out and teach them some fundamentals. The two oldest are big strong boys who are use to leading the others. The others are all pretty athletic.

The other idea would be to get three IKs. The two oldest could easily carry a large dry bag and a day bag in their own with two of the smaller ones riding tandem.

I am interested in what ideas you all might have?

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Old 04-28-2015   #2
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Find that good local guide and have him/her teach your family and most especially you. What a great opportunity the river is for your whole family. Do it. One of the best things I ever did for mine.
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Old 04-28-2015   #3
Whetstone's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 362
Get a rental boat and go to some class 2 water where the older boys can take turns learning to guid a paddle raft. Train em up then step into some class 2/3 overnights. The Grand Ronde is perfect. They will be pros by summers end.

Get them in a swift water rescue class asap.

Crooked River Whiskey. Not for everyone.
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Old 04-28-2015   #4
Roguelawyer's Avatar
Grants Pass, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 214
I will do that. I am not sure my older boys will want to do that without some instruction. I have access to a 10' paddle raft that would be good.

I hadn't thought of the Grand Ronde. I have gone from the Minam Store to a take out just above Troy. The thing I didn't like about that run is that it didn't seem to puddle anywhere. We did it in the spring and it was a bit of a challenge for the other boats to stop where we did. We are use to bigger holes followed by nearly still water to collect anything that may fall out

I am interested in hearing thoughts about the Deschutes with newish paddlers.

I may be overthinking this. No one ever taught me. I just rented rafts and figured I needed to miss the rocks. Haven't turned one over yet.
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Old 04-28-2015   #5
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
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Posts: 447
Do a search on the topic on here, there is a ton of information.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 04-28-2015   #6
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 499
If you are in Oregon, hands down the John Day is your intro multi day with kids. Twickenham to Clarno.

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Old 05-24-2015   #7
williams, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13
Get another rower with a boat. Put 2 kids and gear in each boat and put two in IK's. Then run the lower Rogue
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Old 05-25-2015   #8
Coos Bay, 97420
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 23
If you can get your kids rowing and have the money to do so then that is the way to go. Economy wise, you can get some cheap IK's that handle up to Class II and kids love IK's. They are the capt of their own boat and they are incredible stable. I would honestly do your first over nighter on the the same stretch you currently do. Put in at Robertson Bridge and take out at Graves (about 20+ miles). I take newbie's down that stretch a lot. The reason I recommend it to you for your first run is that you and your family already know it so well. There wont be any surprises for you and will give the kids a chance to build some confidence.
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