There is one thing in particular that Idaho has more of than any other state in the country. What, you thought I was going to say potatoes? Well, that is probably accurate, but it also has far more rivers than anywhere else in the United States. They go all over the state like lines of paint go over modern art. It would actually make for an incredible painting in most circumstances. Not only does Idaho have the most rivers, but it also has some of the best. Idahoans are in love with their rivers as you might imagine, and spend a lot of time out on them doing a variety of different things. There is a lot you may do in those rivers to have fun, and you can do it pretty much anywhere in the state. But, if you want to start on an adventure where you visit every river there is to visit in Idaho (A daunting task for even the most well-traveled), it can be hard to decide where to start or to know what the best and coolest rivers are. That is what I am here for today; to share with you on where you could make your start and what you could do there.
One of the most famous rivers in the country, the Snake River makes a nice border between Idaho and its neighbors to the west and then runs all along the southern side of the state, giving Idaho a handy blue and green belt where its most populous regions are. A lot of Idaho civilization follow where the Snake River goes, though population centers are not necessarily built up around the water feature itself, just next to it or along it at a distance. The Snake is long, wide, and massive, making it perfect for just about any good time you can think of. At any point along its length, you are going to find a new experience and a new breathtaking site.
For example, one of the most incredible places you can go in Idaho is Shoshone Falls, just outside of the city of Twin Falls. It is a spectacle that might rival Niagara Fall’s beauty, if not its sheer size and scope. There are all kinds of rainbows to see and the thundering crash of water in the river below to deafen your ears. Then, you can go into town and grab a bite to eat if you are hungry. The Snake Also spends quite a lot of time in a truly unique part of Idaho, the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, which is home to several species of endangered bird of prey. You can spend some time on or around the water and get a chance to check out some incredible raptors.
A classic fun time to have if you are in the Treasure Valley is the Boise River. It runs right through the capital of Idaho and there are a thousand things to do along it that you cannot do if you go to other rivers in the state. There are points where you can learn about history or the animal kingdom along it and you can even pick up a concert or two if the time is right. The Boise River is the center of the green belt there and is where all kinds of fun activities go down. It is also where the citizens of the city regularly participate in a massive float down the river, bringing out their inner tubes to take a leisurely stroll down a road of cool blue with friends, family, and everyone else in the city. The Boise River is the heart of Boise and a must-visit location if you only have a little while in the city. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit or consider packing a pair of binoculars to spot wildlife scampering around the area.
Just like the Boise River runs through Boise, the Spokane River runs through Coeur d’Alene. Okay, so those are not that comparable, but the Spokane River is important because it feeds into Coeur d’Alene Lake, which is a massive part of the Coeur d’Alene area. There are several parks along the river and then so much to do once you hit the brunt of the lake, which goes south of the city for several miles. The lake is perfect for renting a boat or bringing your own with which to motor around the water and feel some speed and the fresh lake wind.
So, what are some of the fun things you can do on these rivers and lakes besides just sightseeing? Well, plenty in fact, we have already talked about boating, which you do not need a motorboat for. Sometimes the most fun you can have is just buying a cheap canoe or renting one from a local place for an adventure out on the water. If you bring a fishing pole while you are out exploring, you can do some fun lake fishing out in the deep areas or you can post up on the side of the river and cast out a few lines to see what might be biting. Of course, you need to make sure you have a license as well, but those are easy to procure and relatively inexpensive if you know where to find them. Sometimes it is just nice to get into your swimsuit and do some splashing around in the water or relax by the waterside. Finally, you can combine all these by bringing a tent with you and camping out on the shore of the lake or river (in areas that permit camping).
Idaho has a wealth of natural water resources at your disposal. Pretty much anywhere you go in the state, there is going to a river nearby, big or small. From the metropolitan areas in the Treasure Valley to the backwoods of the northeast, there is always water. Just make sure you treat these rivers and lakes with respect while you are enjoying them.