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Looking for a good family rafting trip (2-3 days) in late August in Oregon or Idaho. Considered lower Salmon but apparently the recommended age for that stretch is 6 (our kids are 3 and 8 years-old). We are also concerned about the combination of the length of the trip and the heat exposure for the kids.

We are very experienced boaters but just don't want to push our kids too soon.

We would like class 3 ideally but would consider a class 2 trip. I know there are not many options around this time of year.

Any suggestions, greatly appreciated!
 

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Jeez I moved from bham last year cuz I couldn't find anyone to raft with ugh lol. .. lower deschutes is always good, we also spend a lot of weekends over on the mckenzie, cold water though , john day is a good family river although its out of water now
 

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Lower Deschutes may be the only option for a multiday with Kids in Oregon this year. McKenzie is a good river, but its car camping territory.

August will still be brutally hot on the Deschutes, and there isn't a ton of shade. There are some pretty nice campsites that DO have shade, you just need to find them. A lot of guides have bad BETA on this stretch due to recent fires. That being said...

The Campsite just downstream from Washout rapid is the best on the trip - especially with kids. It is in a huge eddy at the base of a Class III rapid, it has a large "shelf" where the water is only 6-12 inches deep so the kids can play pretty safely.

The train runs along this stretch, but aside from that you aren't likely to see anyone else out there. There are some snakes. There can be bugs.

I've never done section 3, but if you launch at section 4 you can make it here in a single (long) day and layover if you want to. only problem is that if its taken (there are room for 2-3 parties here), you are in a bad spot.
 

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The lower rogue is an option if you can pick up a mid week cancelation. Just have kids walk around blossom bar. Have fun!
 

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Grand Rhonde from Minam to Troy...
Beautiful river!
I was assuming that this will dry up this year in August. Otherwise, if there is water there it is a much better trip than the Lower Deschutes for little kids. Some of the most comfortable camping on a river you can find.
 

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You'll be fighting rattle snakes for water in August on the Grande Ronde!

There are several sections on the salmon that can ran with kids. Lucile to hammer creek for example. The lower in August is straight forward. I don't see many ppl floating the top side down on the lower in late summer.
 

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Yes, but that is our standard here in NM.
We conquered both and had a great time!
The water was still plentiful and the snake was slow, after choosing to swim back to the wrong side of the river.


I'll look up my late august TR from a few years ago here on the Buzz and post a link.
 

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We did the lower rogue twice and the grande rhonde omce. If you are looking for some class II and III rapids I'd go with the rogue. If class I and a couple IIs are more your style I'd go with the grande rhonde.

The last trip we had a bald eagle swoop down eight in front of us and grab a baby duck. Pretty cool. On the grande rhonde we saw bighorn sheep and lots of deer.

Lots of day trips in Idaho without permit or overnighters but unsure of non permit multidays that would be good for younger kids.

Have fun!
 

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Lower Deschutes, you have 100 miles of river from Warm Springs to the Columbia River with constant reservoir controlled flow throughout the year that is very kid/family friendly.
 

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I have done the Rogue and Lower Deschutes, either is good. But, if I had to choose, I'd do the lower Rogue and walk the kids around Blossom. Everything else is very runnable with the kids on board, way more shade, nicer camping in the hot summer.
 

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Have you done the lower deschutes? If not its pretty fun I think for kids and with the river a hole lot warmer than it was they can swim more. We are going around the same time if you want to join or maybe hook up on the river that would be great.
 

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Another vote for Lower Deschutes. Rapids I would consider walking the 3 year old around are:

Whitehorse
Oak Springs
Kline? (scout it first to make a call)

When you get a chance to go earlier in the season the John Day is totally worth the effort!

Have fun!
 

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The grande ronde is pretty low and boney, I was there two weeks ago. Rogue is nice if you get a permit. Any part of the Deschutes from warm springs down is reliable and good for the family. I like trout creek to sandy beach around Maupin.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Shapp
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there really isn't any more difficulty in rapids between the Lower Salmon River and Lower Deschutes in late August. The lower salmon is a much better trip.

Regarding the grande ronde in late august. It is typically floatable at that time. We actually just went down last week with no issue. But this year, I bet it will be below 400 cfs in late August and not a good idea for anything but IKs. However, as happened last week, a couple days of good thunderstorms can raise it up into raftable levels (going light). Very easily done with a 14 to 16 ft raft in the 650 cfs range with quite a bit of gear actually. It is a great kid trip and we started taking out nieces on it at age 2.5. If you end up going Wallowa/GR, send me a pm and I will line you out for a low water trip.
 

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Shapp
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another out of the box low water year trip would be to do a few nighter on the mainstem
umpqua upstream of Elkton in and around the Big K reach. I believe you can pay to camp on the Big K and there are other strategic places to have possible camps. It is almost all flatwater but the smallmouth bass fishing is great for adults as well as kids and you could basically live off a bag of potatoes, a few onions, a slab off bacon salt, pepper garlic, some oil and a fishing rod. Great swimming and crawdad prospecting for kiddos
 

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Not a lot of options

Grande Ronde is not an option. It's down to 484 CFS right now. Deschutes from Trout Creek to Sandy Beach or Pine Tree to the Mouth are your only real options at this time. Both are great 2 or 3 day trips with some nice shady camp sites for smaller groups. Go mid week for your best chance for camp sites.
 

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Float the South Fork

Looking for a good family rafting trip (2-3 days) in late August in Oregon or Idaho. Considered lower Salmon but apparently the recommended age for that stretch is 6 (our kids are 3 and 8 years-old). We are also concerned about the combination of the length of the trip and the heat exposure for the kids.

We are very experienced boaters but just don't want to push our kids too soon.

We would like class 3 ideally but would consider a class 2 trip. I know there are not many options around this time of year.

Any suggestions, greatly appreciated!
It's not even class 2, but it's beautiful and you can make a nice one to four or more night float along the South Fork of the Snake River between Palisades Dam and Menan Butte. It's a big river and though there's little whitewater, the river swirls, eddies and has stoppers, strainers and side channels to avoid. We use a drift boat, but rafts, canoes and motorized craft are permitted. There's large trout, big raptors, lava-basalt cliffs, Cottonwood benches and bars for camping, shuttle services and many boat ramps. Take a day before hand to paddle boat the Snake River Canyon in Wyoming. Lunch Counter and several other rapids are always fun. and the typical run takes under 2 hours.
 

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