South Fork of the Boise River - White Water Paddling

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A favorite day float on a gorgeous stretch of river, the 16-mile rafting trip on the South Fork of the Boise River offers excellent fishing, minimal rapids and a good dose of remote canyon solitude.

Written by

Teresa Bruffey


16.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

35.7 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 days

1 -2 days


Spring, Summer, and Fall

Mid-spring through early fall

Dog Friendly


With a PFD

Fees Permits


Self-issue permit, private trips only (no commercial)



Put in at Danskin Bridge near Mountain Home to begin this single day rafting trip on Class III – IV water. Unlike many of Idaho’s other world-class rafting, the Canyon section of the S. Fork of the Boise is less frequently run offering a greater chance of solitude. Also, without the demand, rafters don’t have to hedge their bets on a lottery to get a permit. Permits are self-issue and are available for private groups only.

What Makes It Great

Running from just below Anderson Ranch Reservoir nearly to Arrowrock Reservoir, the S. Fork begins at a leisurely pace where the canyon stretches wide. Ranches and open prairie spread wide beyond the banks of the river. A wild trout fishery, the native aquatic creatures in these waters grow big making the S. Fork a premiere fly-fishing location.

As the sheer canyon walls close in, the commitment is made and a series of wave trains and rapids step up the pace. The canyon walls of basalt are very steep and to hike out at this point would be extremely difficult. About halfway through the run are two named rapids. Raspberry is the one boaters stop to scout. A spicy wave train at high flow, there are obstacles including holes and some boulders with one rock in the middle of the run to dodge. Devil’s Hole, a rapid with lots of rocks, is longer and more technical. A read-and-run rapid, it’s not as steep of a gradient as Raspberry and has more room for maneuvering.

If making this a two-day trip, watch for two camping spots marked with telltale fire pits. One has a pit toilet on the hill. The take out is at Neal’s Bridge.

This stretch of river is fed by a dam and the flow is typically consistent. Keep an eye on the flow before you go.

Who is Going to Love It

This is perfect for a paddler confident in  Class III – IV water, looking for some solitude.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Click here for a map and directions to the putin and takeout.

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South Fork, Boise River

Mountain Home, ID,
43.405124, -115.56568

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