Rafting Trip on Your Family’s Bucket List?

Whitewater Rafting … it just sounds so hard core, doesn’t it??? It’s a relatively “new” sport, and even more recently the opportunity for families to join in on this adventure has become a viable option.
Similar to a safari in Africa, rafting operators have really perfected the experience. When combined with top notch guiding, meals, and gear a rafting trip becomes a true luxury adventure.

Today I wanted to share a bit more with you about two of the most highly requested river trips for families; the Grand Canyon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Of course there are plenty of rivers out there, both domestic and international, but these are the trips that book up years in advance.
If a rafting trip is something you think your family would enjoy, register your interest here and we’ll be in touch with more specific details on when you need to book and how far in advance you need to plan for something like this.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon’s lifeblood, the Colorado River, is a bucket list rafting trip for many. As such, the best guided rafting trips book up several years in advance.

This fall, likely mid-October, OARS (our preferred rafting outfitter) will open registrations for their 2023 summer Grand Canyon rafting trips. Sign up here to get on the list and we’ll keep an eye on this for you.
An expedition on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon use two different types of oar-powered boats: inflatable self-bailing rafts or hard-hulled dories. Both vessels hold four passengers plus a guide who pilots the boat with a long pair of oars. They each provide an exciting adventure, with some particular differences to consider.

Because rafts are inflatable, they ride on top of the water and have a certain amount of “give.” Therefore, in big whitewater, they tend to flex a little and plow through the tops of waves. They are self-bailing boats, meaning all the water that splashes in drains out through holes between the inflatable floor and the side tubes, no bailing required.

The dories are sleek, double-ended boats made of fiberglass, wood and foam. Being a hard-hulled boat, a dory has no “give,” so when a large wave hits it, it is lifted, providing a somewhat more pronounced, up-and-down ride through the rapids. As a passenger in a dory, you will assist in bailing the water out of the boat using a handheld bucket, and you need to be agile enough to quickly shift your weight to the “high side” of the boat when called upon by the guide, to help keep the boat from tipping over. The dory itineraries tend to run a day or two longer than the raft itineraries, which allows for extra time for hiking.


Idaho is a destination that holds a special place in our hearts here at Videre Travel. From the charming Sun Valley ski area to rugged Stanley and Redfish Lake – we’ve had great fun exploring here over the years.
On an Idaho rafting trip, listen to yipping coyotes and howling wolves at night, soak in natural hot springs, spot black bear, bighorn sheep and other wildlife. And of course, raft exciting rapids in sun-drenched water alongside Native American pictographs, petroglyphs and pioneer homesteads. Epic!

Explore “The West” as Lewis and Clark experienced it over 200 years ago and experience the deepest canyon in the United States. You’ll feel comfortable in cozy camps and fueled with fresh (often organic, always abundant) delicious camp cooking. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres after a day on the river with your wine while your evening meal is prepared by a gourmet chef.
In Idaho we also have specific culinary-focused rafting trips throughout the season.

Bottom line, a family rafting trip is something that needs to be booked well in advance. If your family is thinking about a guided rafting adventure, in the Grand Canyon, Idaho or anywhere in the world, please register your interest here and we’ll keep you up to date on new itineraries and when bookings open for the most in-demand itineraries and destinations.

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