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.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Rockskipper Application Period Open For 2023 Private River Trips Through Grand Canyon National Park General Discussion 0
Nick Invite River Trips: Take me! Meet Up (Members Only) 8
Nick Guided River Trips General Discussion 37
shredhiker Thorofare, Heart Lake, Snake River Sept. 2023 Backpacking 9
Ugly Headless Valley- Film about traveling the Nahanni River General Discussion 4
meowtaingal Wind river high route mid september Trip Planning 7
BJett Packrafting the Obed National Wild & Scenic River - Tennessee On The Water 1
kwc Savage River, Denali NP Hiking & Camping 1
D Wind River offtrail route questions Trip Planning 28
Rockskipper You think you found a pithouse, or maybe an Ancestral Puebloan tower near Green River, UT? It's maybe something even more interesting... General Discussion 3
SteveR Sheep River Road Ride on May Day Everything Else 2
F Upper Escalante River Backpack conditions Trip Planning 6
W Greetings from the West Side of the Winds (Wind River range) Noobs: Introduce yourself! 5
marquiri Wind River Range - Angel Pass Trip Planning 24
Writhdar Day hikes in the White Clouds and Lost River Range Hiking & Camping 1
BJett Packrafting the Cumberland River Below the Falls - Kentucky On The Water 6
Mikjik86 Backpacking The Wind River Range - Wyoming, September 2022 Trip Reports 3
kwc Cedar River Flow, Central Adirondacks On The Water 1
kwc Fall paddle on the West Branch of the Sacandaga River 10/23/22 On The Water 0
Jackson Heart Lake and Snake River for Labor Day Backpacking 23
Stephanie B Dirty Devil River Impassible at Poison Springs Canyon Off Road 0
R Wind River Range: Green River Lakes/Clarks Trail/Porcupine Creek Trail Trip Planning 3
BJett Amazing Appalachians - Backpacking/Packrafting the AT and Nantahala River Backpacking 5
Georgia Yankee Snake River; Wolverine, Coulter, Pilgrim Creeks, July-Aug. 2022 Backpacking 18
Mikjik86 Another Wind River Trip Planning! Elkhart/Titcomb/Knapsack/Shannons Pass loop back to Elkhart, or continue to Green River Lakes Trailhead? Trip Planning 10
wsp_scott Wind River Range Sept 2021 (part 2) Backpacking 4
wsp_scott Wind River Range Sept 2021 (part 1) Backpacking 16
WasatchWill WRHR - Day 7: Beaver Park to Green River Lakes Backpacking 15
BJett Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area Packraft/Backpack Loop (TN) Backpacking 6
BJett Red River Gorge/Red Byrd Arch Packraft Trip - Kentucky Hiking & Camping 9
scatman Gila River - Gila Wilderness, New Mexico - April 18, 2022 Backpacking 61
B Wind river range mid sept. Trip Planning 8
andyjaggy Wind River Range Roberts Mountain Trip Planning 4
marquiri Wind River Range - September 2022 Trip Planning 31
P Yellowstone Snake River weekend Backpacking 7
TheMountainRabbit Northern Wind River Traverse (Bridger/Fitzpatrick Wilderness) - September 2021 Backpacking 16
scatman North Pitchstone Trail, Headwaters of Ouzel Creek, Bechler River and Mr. Bubbles(?) - Yellowstone National Park - September 13, 2021 Backpacking 36
stretch Grand Canyon Loop: Thunder River -> Tapeats -> Kanab -> Sowats Backpacking 22
Janice Cosmic Ashtray via Wolverine/Little Death Hollow & Escalante River? Trip Planning 16
scatman Snake River Lollipop Loop - Yellowstone National Park - August 8, 2021 Backpacking 45
Noun Sequitur Jemez River, Las Conchas Trail and Beyond Hiking & Camping 1
D Wind River Blowdown Trip Planning 2
priz1234 Pine River, Lake Creek, Flint Creek Loop San Juan. 7/3-7/5 Backpacking 6
travel2walk Lamar River, Pelican Valley, & Speciman Ridge loop - Yellowstone, Jun 29 to Jul 3, 2021 Backpacking 15
westy Wind River Range Backpacking 4
Artemus Wind River Mountains Conditions 2021 Trip Planning 17
Janice Manistee River Loop in Michigan Backpacking 9
Bob USFS cabin green River Lakes, WY Trip Planning 0
eobie Wind River Blowdowns Situtation... Trip Planning 14
IlVagabondo Encampment River Wilderness: Conditions? Trip Planning 0

Similar threads