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OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

Australia
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OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

My family and I are visiting in April 2014. We really want to experience rafting, and the OARS is the only company that I can find who are willing to take my young children (aged 3 and 8). They offer rafting trips on the San Juan - 3, 4 or 6 days.

I was hoping to find someone who has done a similar trip with similar aged children. Did you find that the trip was worth the cost? The 3 day option is the one we're currently looking at.

I also have a few general rafting questions - I assume that in April, the weather (and water) will be quite cold… is it cold enough to need wet or dry suits? If so, is there a place we can hire them locally (especially for the kids)? My kids are used to camping and roughing it, however they aren't particularly used to cold weather, given that we usually go camping and hiking here in Australia's summer.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

HI, welcome out west.

I might contact the river operator. Most times they will provide all of the necessary gear for the trip, aside from shoes, sunglasses, and swimsuits. April should have temps in the upper 60's and lows in the mid 40s. That is an average. The beginning of the month will obviously be cooler than the end of the month. Every year will be different. The water is snow melt from the Rockies, so it will be colder.

I've never done a river trip with a 3-year-old. I'm actually surprised they are allowing you to do so. Most rivers have mandated age requirements for licensing and insurance purposes. Even some float trips without rapids have minimums ages of four.

I always think river trips are amazing. Haven't done a bad one yet. There is something amazing about observing the natural habitat from water. If they allow you to go and you think your children could handle three days in the elements, I would take advantage of it.

Santa Ana, CA
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2. Re: OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

I've been on the San Juan River with Wild Rivers Expedition starting in the town of Bluff and getting out in the town of Mexican Hat. It is a float trip but that was at the end of September. I could not imagine anyone getting wet. I agree with the others that you should contact the operator about these things.

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Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

Hey Aussie_Redhead, Welcome to Utah.

I have spent a week on the San Juan on a private trip. It was in mid-March and it was freezing at night. Things should definitely be warmer in April unless of course it is raining. See my review: tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

So while I haven't gone with kids I will say that we did see one family with a young child... maybe 2 or 3. We all were in awe that they would do that with it being so cold at night, but they said they had good sleeping bags and pads.

You shouldn't be getting wet that time of year, maybe a few splashes here and there, but I don't even think we got any on the Government Rapids, which is the largest on the river (and which is further down the river and you won't get to). So dressing in layers for warmth with a raingear top would be more appropriate.

I'm glad they are familiar with camping as that is important. More important though would be if the little one can stay sitting for long periods of time. You will be on the raft for 2-3 hrs at a time with stops sometimes for side trips, and lunch. You aren't really going too far. DannyS and I were on the same one day trip (yes, it was my second trip there,,, I love it. I'd definitely do it again) that covered the same area you will. So your trip will be slow, with lots of time on shore I imagine, but still a consideration.

So I just looked up the OARS trip to make sure the three day stopped at Mexican Hat. It says on the website age 4 minimum and 7 at high levels (which is possible in April). So I'm hoping you have talked to them specifically to verify that 3 is ok especially at that time of year.

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Utah
Utah
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Australia
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4. Re: OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

Thanks everyone!

Yes, I have been speaking with the operator about the age of my daughter. Because she turns 4 in early June which is so close to the time we are visiting, they are willing to waive their minimum age requirement (which is usually 4). Yay!! :)

I will make sure that the girls have binoculars and other things to help keep them occupied. The landscape there is so different to what they are used to, hopefully they will be captivated the entire time just looking around.

Really looking forward to visiting this gorgeous area of the world! I visited the Grand Canyon briefly when I was a child and still remember how beautiful it was. Hopefully this trip will give some awesome memories to my own children. :)

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Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

<<Yes, I have been speaking with the operator about the age of my daughter. Because she turns 4 in early June which is so close to the time we are visiting, they are willing to waive their minimum age requirement (which is usually 4). Yay!! :)>>

Glad to hear!!

I expect it will be an enjoyable relaxing time together, Enjoy

Edited: 31 December 2013, 02:31
6. Re: OARS San Juan rafting trip with young family

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