Great Family Adventures: Orange Torpedo's 'Klamath River Whitewater Rafting Trip'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Zachary Collier/Wikimedia Commons

HIGHLIGHTS: Tucked up in northwestern California, America’s second-largest river is a lesser known (read: uncrowded) jewel for multi-day float trips. A four-to-one client-to-staff ratio ensures that everyone will be safe and have fun. The more adventurous members of your family can paddle alongside the rafts in an inflatable kayak, a fantastic way to really feel the river. You can even attempt to fly down Ukonom Creek Falls as your family hangs out in the swimming spot below it. This is a relatively warm river with Class II-III whitewater that’s great for those just learning to raft. After a long day on the water, guides turn into fireside chefs while you toss a Frisbee on the river’s banks. This trip is recommended for ages five and older.

OUTFITTER: Orange Torpedo Trips has been leading river-rafting excursions since the late 1960s. Its fleet of rafts and inflatable kayaks is extensive, and most of its guides work as schoolteachers when it’s not summer—which means they’re excellent with kids.

ITINERARY: Merlin, Oregon, to Happy Camp, California, with stops at camps along the Klamath River.

DATES: Multiple departures in June, July, and August.

PRICE: $599 per adult and $549 per child, including all meals (with cocktails), use of rafting and camping gear, guidance, and transportation from Merlin.

INFO:, (866) 479-5061.

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