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I have just applied for Laodore and Yampa canyon. Assuming it is not high water is it possible to take 4-5 year old kids? Which canyon is better for kids? In the few rapids, can they walk around? I have heard of people taking kids but not sure which canyon. The kids have done several raft trips but I don't want to expose them to any serious or extended whitewater. Any info on the canyons or experience with family rafting would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
 

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I would say the Yampa is better suited for kid's with only one rapid. Pretty sure warm springs is easy to walk around. I have only seen Lodore at high water and probably would not take young ones. Both great canyon's and camping, split mountain can be a little windy sometimes.
 

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no tengo
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Great kids trip. Last year I let my then 10yr old ride through warm springs but decided to walk the 7 year old. you can easily decide when you scout it.
 

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We did Ladore with a bunch of kids. I think we walked some of the kids around hells but that's about it.
 

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We did Ladore with a bunch of kids. I think we walked some of the kids around hells but that's about it.
Ditto. We were floating on about 2400 cfs and it was imposing.

It was a very long walk, prob a half mile! :)

BEWARE! There is an old snag on a small beach river left that is a very obvious convenient tie off for the scout. It happens to be the home of a nest of yellow jackets, and made for a pretty difficult launch. Thankfully all kids were at the bottom of the rapid and only us 'grown-ups' got stung, I took about 5.
 

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We ran it at just under 5000. The one section some of the younger kids walked in retrospect could have been run with them.
 

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Both canyons are great for kids.

If you do Yampa, walk the kids on Warm Springs, the swim if flipped is fairly long. The walk is rocky, but doable. The rest of Yampa is straight forward.

Lodore has a couple of iffy rapids, none in my opinion worth the walk. Hell's Half Mile is the biggest rapid and the walk is 1/2 mile through rocky weeds. Hard on the little ones and hard to pull over and get back into the current. I've always ran the kids in my boat through Hell's Half mile. Just have a rescue boat at the bottom just in case and the sweep boat going last. In my experience we had much more problems with other rapids, Hell's Half mile is really straight forward. Watch the current and follow someone experienced to see the line. I've taken my boy since he was 7 on Lodore.
 

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As always, you have to do your own evaluation of your skills and the skills of your guests - including children. When I start thinking about worse case scenarios of having a 4 year old on a remote class III river... well, I get a little nervous. Most likely it'll be fine, but personally, I'd choose something like Deso, Ruby, or San Juan.

Plenty of people do it though, so you have to decide what works for you. Heck, I saw a family with play crib strapped on going thru Government Rapid a couple years ago.

If I was going to have small children on Yampa or Ladore, I'd want a proper PDF and a non-rowing adult with the dedicated task of watching each child. I'd also make very clear boundaries in camp with the water and boats off limits. I'm kind of a hard ass dad though.
 

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nice.... do you have any kiddo gear that your getting rid of?
Maybe, what are you looking for? How old is your kiddo(s)? Selling a pair of size 10 kids ski boots at the moment, and have some of good technical girls size 2 (ish) clothing in need of a good home... certainly rotate through River gear too, let me know what you need! BTW, I'm in Salida too. ;) Do I know you? Lets go boating! :D (or skiing, or both...) Yay little shredders!:D
 

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can only apply for one of the rivers?

I thought you could only apply for one of the two rivers? Is that correct? Maybe it has changed since rec.gov took over. Anyone??
 

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We did Lodore two years ago with seven kids and nine adults. It was in August so it was pretty low water(900-1500). The kids were all ages 5-8. The only rapid that we spent any time working on was Hell's. After scouting and considering the options for the walk around, we decided to load all of the kids up and float them thru. We but kids with the most confident rowers and made sure to have an extra adult in each boat to keep an eye on everyone. I would definately do that again, but everyone's kids are a little different. Make sure they are comfortable on and in the water.

Dan
 
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