River Trips in April - Family of 5


Oct 7, 2014
My kids have a late spring break next year, and we’re pondering a multi-day river trip anywhere out West. My kids will be aged 10, 10, and 7 for the trip. They’re very hardy with multiple backpacking and multi-day Ozark Scenic Riverways trips. Everything I’m seeing is either a guided trip that costs $1000K+ per person for 4-5 days or is for older kids.

Is there anything possible that is self-guided at that time of year? Or should we bag it and just heat to Escalante again for some backcountry family fun?

I’m aware that many popular trips will require a slim chance of winning a lottery.
Last edited:


Oct 7, 2014
Renting. We live in St. Louis.
Tons of river experience - multiple trips per year including overnights - but not Class III or IV. That said, with kids, probably won’t be doing anything crazy.
Probably a mix of rafts and kayaks.

We’re open to exploring.


Aug 9, 2007
No class 3 means you're pretty much doing flatwater when it comes to multi-days around here. That cuts down the options a lot. For 4-5 days the Green or Colorado in Canyonlands to the confluence is great. Get a ride out with Tex's on the jet boat. I don't think they'll shuttle out a raft, but they do rent canoes. They might take duckies. Labyrinth from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom is another solid option. If you want to kick it up just a little, the San Juan is excellent. There's a class 3 on the lower stretch but the rest is class 2. That one you need a permit for though, the others it's unlimited permits. Although April permits on the SJ aren't that hard to get. Lotto season only covers from April 15 and later, I believe.

There are shorter stretches that are class 2 or less, but for 4-5 days, that's about it.
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