River Trips in April - Family of 5

Jimmy

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
98
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.
 
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Nick

Spiral out.
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Aug 9, 2007
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12,887
Do you have your own equipment or renting? Rafting? Kayaking? Experience level?
 

Jimmy

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
98
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.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,887
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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