Top 5 River Trips to Give Your Family for the Holidays

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Sure, you’ve got lots of material options when it comes to gift giving — but a river trip is a gift for the whole family where real memories are made that no one can take away from you. Check out these top trip picks from family-owned and operated rafting outfitter OARS, which has been perfecting family adventure vacations for over 50 years.

“After a wild two years that forced all of us to think about what matters most in our lives, there’s been a significant shift in priorities for many families,” says Steve Markle, OARS vice president of sales and marketing. “There’s undoubtedly more of a focus on spending distraction-free, quality time together with family—and as we’ve heard from our guests time and time again, there’s no better place to reconnect than on a river.”

Multi-day rafting trips are a hassle-free, all-inclusive vacation that give busy families the chance to slow down and decompress while sharing an unforgettable adventure together. From the moment a trip begins, the guides take care of the heavy lifting, including whipping up savory feasts and delicious desserts, leading side hikes, and queuing up camp games for everyone to enjoy. All parents have to do is set up their tent and then soak up this unique unplugged time together with their kids, off the grid and away from it all.

Green River through Desolation Canyon, UT

Highlights:

50+ rapids rated Class II-III

Towering red-rock canyon walls

Variety of boat options including oar rafts, inflatable kayaks, paddle rafts and SUPs

Scenic flight over Desolation Canyon to the starting point at Sand Wash

5 or 6 Days | May – September | Minimum Age: 7 (10 at high water) | From $1699/person

Lower Klamath, CA

Highlights:

Fun and friendly Class II rapids through a scenic canyon

2 nights with comfy riverside camping and healthy meals

Warm water ideal for swimming

Easy hikes, blackberry picking and abundant wildlife

3 Days | April – September | Minimum Age: 4 | From $799/person

Gorges of the Lower Salmon River, ID

Highlights:

Exciting Class III whitewater

Warm water perfect for swimming and water fights

Riverside camping on giant sandy beaches

Abundant wildlife including river otters and bighorn sheep

4 or 5 Days | July – September | Minimum Age: 7 (12 at high water) | From $1199/person

Rogue River, OR

Highlights:

Waterfalls, historical sites and abundant wildlife

Enjoy Class III/IV whitewater

Great hiking, fishing and swimming

Explore a Wild & Scenic designated river

3, 4 or 5 Days | May – September | Minimum Age: 7 | From $999/person

San Juan River, UT

Highlights:

Easy floating on calm water and class II rapids

Warm water that’s perfect for swimming and water fights

Pristine camps, beach games and delicious meals

Impressive Native American cliff dwellings

4 or 6 Days | May – September | Minimum Age: 6 | From $1149/person

As family travel continues to bounce back from pandemic disruptions, Markle expects many of the prime dates for the company’s 2022 rafting season to sell out far in advance. To explore the full line up of family-friendly rafting adventures offered by OARS visit: https://www.oars.com/family-adventure-vacations/

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