White Water Rafting with Kids in Utah, Colorado, and Idaho: Advice for Parents

White Water Rafting with KidsThinking about taking the family out on a white water rafting adventure? Does your family include kids? Rafting with kids can be very different from a trip with adults, as they both have different needs and limits. Fortunately, we are here to help, and we have some handy advice for curious parents.

Some Helpful Advice

Over here at Holiday River Expeditions, we have a lot of experience taking families with children on our white water rafting trips. We have been bringing families and individuals on rafting adventures for over 50 years! Well, we didn’t let that experience go to waste. We’ve gathered some of the most important questions parents have asked in the past and paired them with the nuances we’ve observed and compiled them all in one place, just for you. Learn all the details about rafting with kids in Utah, Colorado, and Idaho.

Is White Water Rafting Really Safe for Kids?

While any nature and wilderness adventure poses some risk, we have a team of experienced tour guides who know the ins and outs of the area and the risks involved. We do all that we can to minimize dangers by curating the ideal river trip based on your family’s needs. Additionally, Holiday River Expeditions provides you with life jackets for your journey.

What is the General Age Limit for Rafting? In Utah? Colorado? Idaho?

Confirming the age limits at each rafting location is essential. You don’t want to show up with some youngins only to be turned away in sadness. In most places, all rafters must be at least 5 years of age. Most white water rafting trips in Utah have a recommended minimum age of 5 for beginner level trips only. For intermediate level trips in Utah, the age is 8 years or older. Rafting In the state of Colorado and/or Idaho? Rafters must be at least 8 years or older there as well.

San Juan River Rafting Trip Family timeHow to Prepare for White Water Rafting With Kids

Preparing for any adventure always begins with a couple of core requirements: gear and training. We have a helpful list of what to bring and wear white water rafting that will enable you to get the basics down and prepare. Before the trip, our guides will also go through specifics on what you’ll need to know. This includes risks, details about the river, and what to do and not do in certain situations.

Tip: Before you go on your whitewater rafting adventure, teach your kids the basics about water safety. These include learning how to swim and understanding the importance in layers of protection, such as life jackets and parental supervision. Emphasize to your children the seriousness of not leaving the group, showing off, disobeying the guides, or going off on their own.

If you really want to double down, you can further prepare for a whitewater rafting trip by learning what to do in a water emergency. This can mean learning how to help someone in the water who’s in trouble, knowing methods for getting appropriate help, and CPR.

If you tour with Holiday River Expeditions, however, we’ll have all these basics covered on our end. Our team has extensive training and experience for the types of situations you may encounter.

Take a Class

If you’re still feeling squeamish about your future adventure, you can always take a class. The Colorado Whitewater nonprofit hosts several classes for kids aged 8 to 17. They specialize in helping children gain a progression of skills that will help them be safe and confident in their excursions on the water. You can sign up for a number of classes with them, varying in levels of difficulty.

Family white water rafting funHow To Keep Kids Happy While on a White Water Rafting Trip

The happiness of children can be quite fickle, no? The best way to keep kids happy on the river is by keeping them well hydrated, fed, and protected from the sun and elements. Pack water and snacks, and dowse them in sunscreen because the sun can be quite unforgiving. Its rays can burn the skin almost instantly, and there isn’t much shade since we are always moving.

It also helps to dress your kids in rafting appropriate clothing so that they stay as comfortable and happy as possible. Bring extra layers just in case, because the elements are also unforgiving…and unexpected. There’s always a risk of rain and colder temps. In Colorado, snow can fall as late as May! Always make sure to bring back up clothing for these types of emergencies.

Tip: Plan the length of your trip accordingly. Depending on the kid, the number of days will differ. Holiday River Expeditions offers rafting trips that range from 2 to 6 days. If a child is older and already has prior camping experience and is comfortable in and around the water, then a 6-day trip could work.

Time to Start Plan Your White Water Rafting Trip

With spring and summer right around the corner, the time to start planning your white water rafting trip is now. We can help. Holiday River Expeditions can assess your desires and needs and curate the perfect rafting trip for you and your family.

Some trips tend to book faster than others, so if you want the best selection, start now! Rivers change with the time of year, and if you have a specific location in mind, you want to make sure you’re making your way through it at the best time.

We have many different types of river adventures, ranging from 2 to 6 days in Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. Trips take place on the Colorado River, Green River, San Juan, Yampa, and Salmon River, or a combination. What are you waiting for? Give us a call to help you with your rafting adventure.