Paddle trips with kids

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 13-19, 1996
Grand Teton guides
Preparing for Manitoba
Fat-tire rides in Crested Butte
Hiking in Illinois
Paddle trips with kids
Four Corners mountain biking

Paddle trips with kids
Question: I'm looking for information on organized family canoe camping trips near or in Washington state. Any information would be appreciated.

Carlos Gonzalez
Bellevue, WA
[email protected]

Family-friendly canoe camping
Adventure Adviser: From what I can tell, the water sport of choice in Washington state is sea kayaking, and it's best done off the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound. Because it's such a hit with paddlers, plenty of outfitters run multiday trips during the summer. The only trick is finding one that will accommodate the kiddies.

Sierra Club Outings has a six-day family base-camp trip in the San Juans from July 21-27 that involves sea kayaking, hiking, biking, beachcombing, whale-watching, evening campfire programs, and lots of other good stuff. Rates are $390 for adults and $260 for kids (8 and up, please). For more information, call 415-923-5630.

The next closest thing to family-friendly canoe camping in Washington is a four-day trip in ... Wyoming. I know, I know, it's not quite the Northwest, but it's definitely worth a look. American Wilderness Experience, an adventure travel company that specializes in family trips around the country, can book you on a four-day paddling trip on Green River Lake and the Green River in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

You'll start out of sleepy Pinedale, put in on Green River Lake, paddle to the upper lake, and into the Green River. Everything's included, except sleeping bags. When you're not canoeing, you'll spend your time hiking, fishing, and big-game watching. Trips run from July through September and will set you back about $765 per person; call 800-444-0099.

And, if you're willing to consider Wyoming, you might as well think about Minnesota's Boundary Waters region--probably the top spot for canoe camping in the country and not too much farther east. American Wilderness Experience has a bunch of multiday paddling trips in this neck of the woods, as does Canoe Country Escapes, whose seven-day trips go for about $560 per adult and $395 per 5- to 12-year-old. Call 303-722-6482 for departure dates.

Finally, if you're open to even more far-flung suggestions, it would be worth your while to look through a Outside's summer 1996 Family Vacation Guide, a special issue that's chock-full of 100 great trips.

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