Boise is known for its awesome whitewater paddling. Three forks of the Payette River, just an hour or more from town, offer Class III to Class IV rafting and kayaking. The North Fork of the Payette River is known worldwide for its Class IV and V rapids, while the Main Payette River (Class III) offers a good training ground for beginner rafters.
The Staircase Run and Canyon Run of the South Fork of the Payette River deal up Class III and IV rapids, to the delight of intermediate and advanced paddlers. Farther north, toward Smiths Ferry, is the Cabarton Run of the North Fork of the Payette River, which is considered a Class III to IV whitewater run.
The whitewater season begins full on as early as March with moderate flows until spring runoff in late May and early June make all forks of the river pretty advanced runs. Because of reservoir storage on all forks, these rivers run all summer long with good boating flows. Some boaters continue paddling until ice up.
Groups: Idaho Whitewater Association, Idaho Rivers United
Retailers: Idaho River Sports Alpenglow Mountainsport