Photo courtesy Kyle Green – Idaho Statesman
Idaho River Sports team members at Quinn’s Pond

Idaho has more whitewater river miles than any other state in the lower 48. It is also a great place to enjoy stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, flatwater kayaking and the many lakes and streams that run through this part of the Western U.S.. Families are taking up canoeing as a way to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors from Spring through Fall and into Winter.


The photo above by Jo Cassin of Idaho River Sports above was taken minutes from downtown Boise and the North End at Quinn’s Pond in late February!

Below are some of the favorites for paddlers of all levels. Remember to contact Idaho River Sports for all your paddling needs. Visit their website by clicking here or call 336-4844.

Below are just four examples close to home for Idaho whitewater boating at it’s best.

Boise River

The Boise River is an easy float down along a wooded area close to the highway, past Boise State University to Ann Morrison Park. A bus shuttle to the put-in is available at the park. Put in at Barber Park and take out at Ann Morrison Park. This is class I and II water and great for learning, canoeing and casual floating.

South Fork of the Boise River

The South Fork flows through a wide desert canyon. A mile below the put in the basalt cliffs close in. The rapids are mostly class II-III wave trains. Both the named rapids are about halfway down the run. Raspberry is a long wave train. The other is a class III rapid called Devils Hole. Devils Hole can be spotted from upstream. It’s a big pool with a tree-covered gravel bar on the left. The river picks up and is a splashy class II-III ride almost all the way to the take-out.

Main Payette River

The main runs from Banks and is a fun run for boaters with good basic skills. The takeout for the lower South Fork run is the normal launch point for the Main. Rapids on the main are often large waves with little maneuvering required; the section rates class III. There are sizeable holes located at Bennett’s Rock, Mike’s Hole and AMF. Mixmaster is a large v-wave which has been known to flip rafts. The run is about seven miles long.

South Fork of the Payette

The South Fork features runs through canyons and can be an advanced whitewater run for one, two, or three days. Multi-day trips start above Lowman. After the Deadwood River adds its flow, the river drops about 40 feet per mile with continuous steep rapids. The Canyon stretch is punctuated at its deepest point by a 40-foot waterfall. The river flattens out in Garden Valley giving paddlers some time to relax before maneuvering more class III-IV rapids. The safest and most popular stretch is from the Deer Creek Turnout to Banks.

Check with your whitewater specialists at Idaho River Sports for more info!

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