Best Idaho Boating


It is a calm day. The sky is a clear blue and there are only a few wispy clouds to get in the way of a warm and delightful sun. The air is clear enough to see for a hundred miles in every direction and the sounds of roads and civilization are far enough away that they cannot touch your ear. You swing your oar down into the water and pull it back, dragging your boat across the surface of a lake with a smooth and practiced motion. The water eddies around your paddle and you glide forward, slipping soundlessly beneath a low hanging branch of a tree. A bird twitters and you see a fish jump out of the water thirty feet away, shimmering in the sun. You put your paddle in the water again and pull… Was that a nice image? Personally, I find the act of rowing a boat to be one of the most enjoyable and cathartic activities on this planet, but not everyone is familiar with boats. They either do not know what to do with one or where to go with one. Idaho is a fantastic state and that is at least partially because it has a lot of water that is excellent for boating. I want to make sure you can experience this side of the state and give you an introduction to the different kinds of boating and how you might experience them in the great Idaho.

It is hard to tell what might spring to your mind when you think of a boat, especially in the realm of thought that relates to recreation. For some people, a powerful motorboat is going to be what occurs to them. They think of cranking up the RPM and dragging an innertube or a pair of water skis behind them. Idaho is probably not the best place to be a motorboat owner. There are not so many places to use one as there are in other states. This does not mean that that it is impossible or pointless to own a motorboat in Idaho because there are definitely some parts of the state that are good for motorboat use, but many of the bodies of water in Idaho are just too small or shallow or ecologically important to allow anyone to use a loud boat that spews pollution all over the place. However, if you live close enough to one of the larger lakes or rivers in Idaho, you might be able to find some kind of use out of a motorboat, and even if you cannot afford a motorboat or just do not want to take on the hassle of having to pay for and maintain a motorboat, there are services that might let you use someone else’s or you might be able to go out with a friend. Being on a lake in a big and fast boat is a lot of fun and can give you some very nice memories.

The boating that is much more common and easier to do in Idaho is a type of boating that involves rowing. It is very easy and cheap to get a kayak or canoe (Or multiple kayaks and canoes to take your friends out) and find a river or lake to row around on. Kayaking or canoeing can be just as fun as jetting around on a motorboat, though it is a different kind of fun. There is a certain enjoyable peace that can fall over you while you are gliding over the top of the water on a canoe, repeatedly pressing your paddle into the water and pushing yourself along. A kayak can take you on some more exciting adventures. Many of the rivers in Idaho are long and full of rapids that are best navigated in something as nimble and light as a kayak. Of course, these can be harrowing journeys that are suited best for those who have a lot of experience when it comes to kayaking in difficult situations, but you can work up to that level and enjoy every step of the way until you are jockeying left and right through sharp rocks over swift water. I consider a canoe the more useful boat when it comes to traveling for long distances along a river. There is no real reason to make such a journey except to say that you did it and for the fun of it, but there is also no real reason to not make such a journey. You get more space in a canoe for gear and camping equipment and it is a more comfortable ride as long as the river is not so violent.

Probably the peak boating experience you can get in Idaho is not boating at all but rafting. Really, the differences are only academic, but whatever you think, white water rafting is a lot of fun and something everyone can try depending on how far you want to go. A lot of Idahoans have a special place for white water rafting in the heart and make a point to get out on the water with their friends frequently. If you want to try it out yourself, you have a couple of options. There are a few rafting services that can act as guide for you and take you out for a short day on the water, experiencing a part of a river that is particularly exciting. Then there are longer journeys you can go on that might take you for great distances over rough and watery terrain. Of course, rafting can be a dangerous sport. It is somewhat like kayaking in that you are looking for the more exciting and extreme parts of the river. Rapids are a main point of interest and, depending on the category of rapids, you might get seriously jostled or thrown around. It is best to start small with someone who knows what they are doing. All you need to know for a canoe is how to row but that is not the same for extreme rafting.

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