family photos in boise
Outdoor activities semi-close to Boise: White Water Rafting
March 29, 2022

Idaho is ranked #1 in the US for Whitewater adventures. The season typically runs from May to October. The North Fork of the Payette, Cabarton Run, would be an ideal stretch if you’re looking to take your family for an all-day adventure as it is one of the most scenic runs in the state!

Fees: No fees to float. Daily permits or seasonal passes are required for parking

Restrooms: available at put in and take outs, but few or none along the way

Dress: dress to get wet and wear clothes that dry quickly.  Bring water, sunglasses, sunscreen, and always a life jacket

Payette River:

South Fork: 3 miles east of Garden Valley. Standard put in at Deadwood River access. Deer Creek 5 miles.. Adler Creek 6 miles. Class II to Class IV Rapids with one V/VI Rapid- Big Falls Rapid is a portage for most. Time to complete 2 hours- ½ day. June- September. No dogs. Few sections of flat water

North Fork: Class II to Class IV Rapids. 10 miles, 3 hours. Intermediate to expert rafters. Or beginners looking for a challenge. Runs through the canyon so almost completely roadless other than put in and take out. Many flat sections along the way to swim in the warm water. Some camping spots along the way down if you’re wanting to make it a 2 day run

Main Payette: Class II to Class III Rapids. Best stretch for families, first time rafters, and training kayakers. Rafting put in at Banks

For information on flow rates go to


Raft trip outfitters:

Cascade Raft and Kayak: 7050 ID-55, Horseshoe Bend, ID  Contact: (208) 793-2221  Website:

Idaho Whitewater Unlimited: 787 Banks Lowman Rd, Garden Valley ID  Contact: (208) 462-1900  Website: 

Payette River Company: (South Fork) 14 Memory Ln, Lowman ID  Contact: (208)259-3702  Website: 

Bear Valley River Co: 7864 ID-55 Banks, ID  Contact:(208) 793-2272  Website:


Ready To Get Out & Play?