The vast array of outdoor activities Idaho has to offer gives everyone something fun to do during all seasons of the year. How about a nice, scenic hike through the foothills or the lush evergreen forests? There are great trails all over Idaho that can accommodate any level hiker. Some of those trails follow a creek or river, serving as a guide as you venture into the wilderness. If you’re searching for a good fishing spot, there are loads of shimmering lakes and rivers to choose from with a diverse selection of fish species to catch.
Out of the numerous rolling rivers that wind their way throughout the beautiful state of Idaho, there are a select few in the Boise area you can take a day trip to. Each are unique and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Check out these awesome rivers in Boise to explore next!
The city of Boise is a peaceful mountain town that has done an excellent job of keeping the Boise River a well-preserved area free of much development. A park lies right on the river where you can sit and enjoy the sounds of rushing water, or you can make your way along the Greenbelt sidewalk that runs for 25 miles right along the Boise River. The beloved park is cherished by the locals and often a highlight of a visitor’s trip.
Just recently the city has started to promote tubing adventures where you can float down the Boise River! If you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, there are lots of places you can camp along the river and enjoy a bit of fishing. Wild trout, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and regularly stocked rainbow and brown trout are just some of the fish you can expect to find. Fish aren’t the only creatures you’ll come across in the river, though! You might also come across a bullfrog or the occasional crayfish.
The Boise River begins in the Sawtooth Mountains and flows through the urban area of the city. By itself, the river runs for 100 miles before it merges into the Snake River. It’s one of the most defining features of the city of Boise, and you won’t want to miss out on exploring it!
South Fork Boise River
Anglers from all over flock to this thriving wild trout fishery to get ahold of the oft-spotted and always feeding rainbow trout. Only 70 miles east of Boise, this part of the river isn’t far at all. The river flows through a canyon where you can spot wildlife such as black bears, mule deer, rattlesnakes, and ruffed grouse. You can float the river to avoid crowds of competitive fishermen and can camp by the river to get an early start the next morning.
The most striking visual features of this area are the large basalt cliffs and serene waterfalls that pepper the countryside. If you find yourself at this beautiful location, you might try going camping or consider going for a trek at sunrise. The rapids are very minimal, so if you’d like to float this 16-mile stretch of river, you might consider checking it out.
Another tributary of the Snake River is the Payette River, which runs from the Sawtooth and Salmon River Mountains and branches off into several forks before joining the Snake. In just under an hour, you can get there and enjoy any of the various recreational activities available at the Payette River. Hop in a raft or kayak if you'd like to test out your already developed white-water skills on the rapids! Whatever experience level you are, you’ll find your adventure out on the water. This river is known as the local proving grounds for watercraft sports.
If you’d like a more leisurely activity on the Payette River, you can also choose to grab your canoe, go tubing, or stand-up paddleboard. The river also has access to fishing and camping spots that will connect you with the surrounding nature. This river is surely the adventurer’s paradise.
Springtime is the ideal season to visit Weiser River due to the runoff that gives the river such great flow for water activities. It’s quite the rural area, full of recreational fun in the great outdoors. It will take you just under two hours to drive to Weiser River from Boise, so make a day trip out of it! Consider taking a dip in the local hot springs, bike the 84-mile Weiser River Trail, go fishing, boating, or floating the river in mid-April.
The beautiful trees and vegetation here turn to vibrant shades of red and yellow in the fall and give anglers a great opportunity to admire their surroundings. You can expect to find trout, small and largemouth bass, whitefish, and salmon when fishing here. The area’s rich history goes back thousands of years, to a time when the Weiser Shoshoni and Nez Perce tribes traveled to the Weiser River to collect fish from the booming fishery located there. The avid fisherman will really enjoy casting a line in this plentiful river.
Get Out There and Explore!
With so much to discover and things to do, Boise’s outdoor scene is booming. Whether you’re venturing into the woods, camping next to a river, or testing your fishing skills, there’s something for every type of outdoors fan. You’ll love the diverse amount of activities you can participate in, and you might end up trying something new or checking something off your bucket list!
The Snake River, known for its winding S-shaped appearance, and its many tributaries are what define the greater Treasure Valley and give sustaining life to the landscape of Idaho. Its historic and agricultural significance has lasted for thousands of years and will continue to be a powerful, life-sustaining source for many years to come. These gorgeous and wild rivers demand to be explored and checked out for yourself! Should you choose to be a thoughtful observer or an active adventure-seeker, you surely won’t be disappointed with your trip to any Idaho river.