Sand, sun, water, campfires under the stars: river trips are IDEAL family vacations.
Unplugged family vacations: no cell phones, no internet.
Kids and family whitewater rafting trips are our specialty. The Main Salmon River provides warm swimming and splashing water, big sandy beaches, and less technical whitewater than the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Kids are usually ready for Main Salmon whitewater rafting trips by age 4-5. There are lots of cool places to explore along the river, such as old log cabins or hot springs. The kids can be in and out of the water all day and build sandcastles and run bare-foot on the beaches once we reach camp each evening. Parents are sometimes concerned that kids will get bored before the trip is over. Our experience is that, particularly if there are other kids of similar age on the trip, kids will hate to see the trip end.
Rafting on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River generally appeals to older kids.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River has more technical whitewater, hiking to spectacular waterfalls, and fishing opportunities. There are many fascinating prehistoric Shoshoni Indian sites including pictographs, hunting blinds and house pits.
Appropriate age for Salmon River rafting trips:
Age is not a rigid indication of readiness for an Idaho wilderness river trip. A certain four-year-old may be more ready for a whitewater rafting trip than a seven-year-old. Parents should be able to trust that their children will listen to and abide safety rules for their own protection. You should feel confident that if you tell your child not to go near the river or any other out-of-sight place without supervision, that he or she will remember your advice. We can maintain safe conditions in our boats, but will need parental support in keeping the kids safe in camp.
Safety is our primary concern on all family whitewater rafting trips.
Once we are in camp, a guide will always be available to address safety questions. Our boatmen are also on-hand for the inevitable kid-related basic first-aid such as bandaging scraped knees and removing splinters. We carry a satellite phone for more serious emergencies.
A Salmon River whitewater rafting trip is likely to be a highlight kids will look back and remember for years to come. There are so many fun things to do with equal balance between excitement and quiet time. A wilderness river trip allows families to re-connect and “get away from it all.” A six-day river trip will fly by before you know it, and the kids will be asking, “When are we going to do that again?”