Family River Rafting with ROW
By Candyce Staepen

River rafting is gaining popularity with families as an exciting new way to spend their summer vacation. One of the top river rafting companies for families is ROW.

River Odysseys West (ROW)
PO Box 579
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816
Toll Free Phone: (800) 451-6034 or (208) 765-0841
FAX: (208) 667-6506
E-Mail: info@rowinc.com
Website: www.rowinc.com


Most trips include at least 10 guests and a maximum of 14 to 24, depending on the trip. 1-day trips may have 30-40. The average trip size is 15, but trips in May, early June and September are generally smaller, with 8-12 guests.

Family Focus Trips

ROW offers trips on three different sections. One of these, near the headwaters, is the Middle Fork of the Salmon, which is a 6-day, 100-mile alpine river trip that starts in the Sawtooth mountains near Stanley, Idaho. The second section is the "Salmon near Riggins" where they offer just a few trips each season in late June and early July. The third section of the Salmon that ROW runs is the Salmon River Canyons, home to the "Family Focus" adventures designed exclusively for families, guaranteeing there will be plenty similar-aged playmates around. This is the last 53 miles of the Salmon before it joins the mighty Snake River on its way to the Columbia. On this section of the river, trips last from 4 to 5-days and cover from 35 to 53 miles on the Salmon River plus another 21 miles on the Snake River. Along the way you'll float through four different canyons named Green, Cougar, Snowhole and Blue. Hence the name, Salmon River Canyons.

Who's Eligible:

Both parents, one parent, single parents, grandparents are welcome as long as they bring with them a child under the age of 16. Most of these trips are made up of families with kids in the six to 14 year old range. Five years old is the youngest allowed.

What about River Guide's?

Each trip is staffed with an extra guide and each day a different guide takes their turn at being the "River Jester." He or she leads the kids and any playful adults in games, nature hikes and other activities designed to be fun while also teaching them more about the river canyon and its connection to their world back home.

What about the food?

ROW also serve a special kids' menu that would make Dr. Seuss drool. Kids' dinner is served earlier than the adult dinner of gourmet fare and kids are welcome to join in at both meals.

What makes this trip appealing to kids?

Knowing that the best way to develop a winning program is the hire the best talent available, ROW owners Peter Grubb and Betsy Bowen have consulted their own children, Mariah and Jonah to develop this program. Having crawled from the cradle to a raft at an early age, Mariah and Jonah taught their ROW parents how to run the best family rafting trips in the world - bar none.

What is a Family Focus trip really like?

If you'd like more first-hand information on ROW's Family Focus trip, read along as one family shares their adventure ... Rafting Trip Diaries

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