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Great Outdoors
Western River Expeditions Announces New Family Rafting Trips Creatively Designed Just For Families

Salmon River Family Trips Feature a Special River Jester to
Encourage and Entertain Children as Young as Five

For over 50 years Western River Expeditions ( has delivered whitewater thrills to adventurous families from around the world. Wanting to raise the bar (and fun meter) on family-exclusive adventures the company recently announced the launch of a new series of trips for 2011 on Idaho’s Salmon River that may redefine adventure travel with the kids.

Western River Expeditions’ new five day/four night Salmon River Canyons Family Magic rafting trip caters exclusively to families (aunts, uncles and grandparents are welcome) with children as young as five. The staff includes not only accomplished guides and camp hands but also a designated River JesterTM whose sole duty is to lead nature-oriented games and activities for kids and teens. Parents and grandparents may choose to join in the fun, or spend adult time together knowing that their children are well attended. “Families with school-aged children account for a growing percentage of our business,” explains Brandon Lake, vice-president of Western River Expeditions. “The addition of a specially trained staff member to encourage, inspire and entertain the kids will more than enhance the experience. It’s the most exciting new concept in family rafting trips we’ve seen.”

The duties of the River Jester don’t end with camp games and activities on the beach. They assist with a special kids’ dinner each night “that would make Dr. Seuss drool” and see that the day ends with stories and songs around the campfire. The special kids’ dinnertime (usually served around 6:00 PM) allows adults to enjoy a quiet social time before their dinner, usually served 90 minutes later. Children are welcome to eat at either or both meals.

The nature of the river canyon and the 74 wild and scenic river miles from put-in to take-out also lends itself to ideal conditions for families with young children. This lower stretch of the Main Salmon River as it merges with the Snake River is characterized by huge white sand beaches, playful "pool and drop" rapids, great riverside hiking, rich and fascinating Nez Perce Indian and pioneer history, and warm water for swimming. The Class II-IV rapids are more fun than intimidating and perfect for paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks (affectionately called Daring Duckies). Oar-powered rafts are also used to carry camping gear and food, and to effortlessly carry those who want a break from paddling.

Trips meet and end in Lewiston, Idaho (closest airports: Lewiston, ID or Spokane, WA). 2011 trip departures are July 11,18, 25, Aug 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. Trip rates are $1,435 for adults and $1,245 for kids 5-15, plus tax. All trips are run in partnership with ROW Adventures based in Coeur d’Alene, ID. For more information see:

This same approach to “family magic” river trips with the inclusion of a River Jester, games and activities for kids, special meal times and campfire fun will be incorporated into all of Western River Expeditions’ family rafting trips on the Green River in Utah as well. Western’s four- and five-day Green River through Desolation Canyon trips feature outlaw hideouts, ancient dinosaur habitats, and Fremont Native American petroglyphs along 84 scenic river miles. Minimum age is five and 2011 departures are weekly from June to August. See:
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