Family Rafting Trips
Are you ready to take your family vacation to the next level? Experience the beauty and adventure of a family rafting trip with Confluences River Expeditions!
Come rafting with your kids! At Confluences we love when younger generations join us in our Salmon River rafting adventures. We truly believe that getting the entire family outside and into a raft makes for some of the most memorable family vacations ever. Not only are our guides incredible entertainers, but the river itself creates a wondrous environment for youngsters to explore. We aim to create unforgettable family rafting trips, keep reading to find out how you can make the most out of bringing your kids on a Confluences river trip!
Explore our Salmon River rafting option, the best kid-friendly, multi-day rafting trips for families with children as young as six or seven. Paddle together in a raft, or opt for a “duckie” (inflatable kayak). The warm water of the Salmon River means that you don’t have to worry about kids being cold, and the nonstop fun of the trip means you won’t hear “I’m bored!” at all during your adventure. You’ll have time to swim in the river in between the fun and splashy rapids, and play on the white sand beaches each evening while the guides prepare elaborate and kid friendly meals. Please see our Salmon River Rafting page for general information concerning itinerary, FAQs, and highlights you can expect on the Main Salmon.
As a special bonus, we offer a youth discount for guests 14 years old and younger, and group discounts for families that bring 7 or more guests on a trip! If you have a larger family gathering (24 guests), consider booking a charter trip!
Helpful Tips for Family Trips
We have a few tips for bringing kiddos out on multi-day rafting trips. If you follow these simple hints, we have no doubt you and your kids will have an incredible time during your big adventure!
- Use the packing list.
- When you book with Confluences you’ll be sent a packing list containing everything you’ll need to bring on your adventure. We recommend following it closely to avoid bringing too much extra gear. Kid tip: bring a few extra pairs of (cheap) sunglasses, for when the originals sink to the bottom of the river!
- Don’t worry about boredom.
- Seriously, even if you have kids whose main source of entertainment is screens or technology. During the trip they’ll make friends, be tired from the day’s adventures, and be entertained by our guides. Kid tip: bring a few camp games like a frisbee, cards, or a fishing pole.
- Let them explore.
- On a river trip, your guides are an incredible resource. Let your guides give tips and tricks for having fun in camp and while on the water. They’ll be sure to tell kiddos the best places to explore each day while also setting fair ground rules that keep everyone having fun. Kid tip: Bring a simple waterproof camera and have your kids create a photo journal of the trip!
- Make the pre- and post-trip logistics easy.
- We encourage families to plan their travel logistics far in advance. We also recommend allocating more time for transitions to and from the river. Confluences’s customer service team has years of experience making these logistics work for all types of groups. Give us a ring anytime and we’ll be happy to help you get moving in the right direction. Kid tip: plan on staying the night in McCall after your trip. Give your family that relaxing time to really soak in your amazing vacation before beginning the drive or flight home.
Are you an on-the-fence parent?
Here are a few things to put your mind at ease:
- Run by Parents: Confluences managers are parents themselves, just like you, and they understand your concerns. They have been taking their own children down the Salmon River since the kids were little and the whole family loves it! Yours will too. (Those managers also have decades of summer camp and outdoor education experience, specializing in making outdoor experiences fun and meaningful for youth!)
- Track Record: Confluences has a great track record of taking kids down the river with all our guests’ health and well being as our top priority. That’s especially true for kids, who we want to see become lifelong river enthusiasts. Yes, there are risks with an adventure vacation like whitewater rafting. But our team will work with you to manage those risks. That might mean encouraging your family to book a trip later in the summer when the water levels are more forgiving, ensuring kids are in larger rafts for certain sections of the river, and making sure we have the properly sized gear for your kids.
- Bathroom Breaks: We know that kids can need to use the bathroom at a moment’s notice. We’ll teach them how and where to go, and we keep one of our portable toilets accessible as we travel downstream to handle any mid-day emergencies.
- Food Specifically for Kids: Everyone eats well on our trip, but our team makes sure to pack kid-friendly snacks and meals to help the younger ones (and pickier eaters) have a great trip. Communicate with us about specific needs to!
- Keeping Clean: The Salmon River makes a great way to splash off after getting sandy from playing in the beach or sticky from eating an ice cream cone at Buckskin Bill’s (a fun stop on the trip). Our guides will help teach you and your kids how to take a “bucket shower” above the high water mark with biodegradable soap if needed.
- Options for Guests Who Can’t Paddle: Sometimes kids can get tired or bored of paddling. Our trips run with oar boats that allow kids (or other adults who can’t paddle) to ride as passengers. That let’s them have their hands free for water fights! For those who love to paddle but aren’t ready for their own craft, they can jump onto a paddle raft or in a two-person inflatable kayak.
Specific Gear for Kids: Due to the great weather of Central Idaho during the windows we recommend families book (late June, July and August), there is not a need for things like wetsuits. We have PFDs (lifejackets) made for youth. We also bring camp games on every trip, allowing for card games around the campfire, a quick round of bocce ball, and more! Plus, our guides will help kids find the perfect stick for roasting marshmallows for s’mores!
Your Muli-Day River Rafting Itinerary
Salmon River Map
Below, find the answers to frequently asked questions about Salmon River raft trips with Confluences River Expeditions. We hope this page will help you plan for your raft trip and help you know what to expect on Idaho’s Main Salmon. Our team is ready to answer any of your questions too!