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So my girlfriend is turning 30 this coming summer and, to celebrate, I want to organize a multi-day kayaking/rafting trip for us, our friends, and her family. Since here birthday is in the middle of permit season (around July 4th) for most rivers, I have to apply to permits. Since odds are that I won't get a permit if I apply for just one river, I need to apply to many different permits.

My next issue, and why I am posting here, is because I need solid beta on the different rivers I should apply for. Ideally it would be a 3-day / 2-night affair on semi-continuous class III with some class IV mixed in (we don't want a flat water float or class IV/V action). We are open to almost anywhere in the western US.

My current list includes:
Selway
Hell's Canyon of the Snake
Rogue River (OR)
Tuolumne (as a backup if all else falls through since I know this river)

Although I can find plenty of information about the permitting, outfitters and commercial trips, I'm finding it quite confusing to find straight-forward river descriptions. I'm looking for something like awetstate.com, but there aren't write-ups on there for these rivers. Even on American Whitewater, I'm not even sure which stretches of these rivers I am supposed to be looking at since most sites talk about them as if there were only one section (e.g. is the classic multi-day Rogue Lost Creek - Gold Ray or Grave Creek - Foster Bar or something else?)

Can anyone clarify which sections of these rivers are the "classic multidays" so I know where to start looking? Can anyone point to good write-ups on these sections? Anyone have recommendations for other multi-days around July 4th in the Western US?

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Grave to Fosters is the Rogue multi-day trip and seems to fit your want of a class III(two IV's) multi-day. There is plenty of video and scouting opportunities for both the class IV rapids(Blossom Bar and Raine Falls). You can put-in at Galice for a couple extra miles and it simplifies the shuttle.
 

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I over night on the Rogue mostly and it has two sections that are great 3 day 2 night trips and then the wild and scenic part that is truly amazing but takes more days and permits (Graves Cr. to Foster Bar approx 35 miles). We commonly put in at Robertson Bridge and take out at Graves Cr. It's about 20 miles and has Galice resort in the middle which has dinning and store if needed. Also, you can put in at Foster Bar and take out at Lobster Cr. Both of these sections are about the same length, have really easy shuttle route to get cars down river, require NO permits but only offer class I/II rapids. The permit section Graves to Foster have the rapids you want, but will require more than three days and permits.

I good source of info for the Rogue can be found by googling "Rogue River float Guide BLM".
 

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Lower kalamath is a good long trip and is not permitted. Down side is its road side, but very low traffic at night so camping is pretty peaceful and feels wilderness. Upper k can also be done as overnighter. Best to drive to Frain Ranch with camp gear and keep boats light as the whitewater is plenty challenging and you don't want to swim.

Rogue from graves to foster is great but I wouldn't bother driving for any other sections unless or already close.

The grande Rhonde is also a great long trip with spectacular camping and hiking but no whitewater.
 

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If you want to increase your chances of getting a permit, add the Main Salmon to your list, too. You can apply for 4 launch dates to each of the 4 Idaho permitted rivers, and the Main in early July is beautiful and fun. Higher odds of scoring a permit for it than for the Middle Fork Salmon, but it's worth applying for all 4 to help your overall odds. I like the Main better than Hell's Canyon, but it's just a personal preference. They are both beautiful in their own ways. Selway and Middle Fork always spectacular, but just so much harder to score the coveted permits.
 

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Classic Multiday Trips

The Tuolumne is pretty much the only classic multi-day river with challenging rapids that you can do a 3 day summer trip on in the West. The Selway and the Middle Fork are typically 6 day trips and tough to get permits on. The Rogue is Class II/III with one Class IV.

If you have the skills and the timing is right you might want to consider the South Fork of the Salmon or Big Creek in Idaho.

Here are a couple resources with good river descriptions worth checking out:

Whitewater Guidebook

World's 13 Legendary River Trips

Good luck. It's hard to beat the Tuolumne. Put in just below Lumsden Falls for an extra 2 miles to start your trip. And if California is in drought again you can go past Ward's Ferry to do a bonus section.
 

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Of what you mentioned the Rogue sounds like it would fit your needs. We do the "wilderness section" (Graves Cr to Foster Bar) as a 4 day, but I have done it a couple of times as a 3 day. Nice camps, great scenery, fun class 3 rapids with a couple 4's. Although the last bit of float out gets flatter. There are some great stops along the way and nice hikes. They control access by total people launching per day, not by just a certain number of permits. So if you get skunked on the lottery, cancelation permits are easy to come by as long as your group isn't huge.
 
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