Whitewater Adventure in Idaho

Idaho offers ample opportunities for adventure on the water By: Kelly Rosenfeld
Idaho has several whitewater events for the summer season. // © 2013 Visit Idaho
Idaho has several whitewater events for the summer season. // © 2013 Visit Idaho

The Details

Whitewater enthusiasts, grab your paddles — Idaho’s solid snowpack and excellent statewide water conditions make it an ideal destination for a wet and wild adventure. From May to September, Idaho offers more than 3,000 miles of whitewater adrenaline rushes for all ages and skill levels.

Head to Kelly’s Whitewater Park (KWP) in Cascade to experience Idaho’s first whitewater park. The park provides a perfect opportunity for kayakers to hone their paddling skills while playing in the waves. KWP also has a lineup of both competitive and family-friendly events scheduled for this summer.

On June 21-23, the Payette River Games will take place at KWP and other locations around Cascade. The Games’ festive offerings include kayak events, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), golf, beach volleyball, disc golf, fitness events, river dog fetch, fly casting, yoga, horseshoes, raft cross, live entertainment, kids games and more. Some $40,000 in prize money is up for grabs over the course of the weekend, so participants are sure to see world-class paddling at its finest.

True enthusiasts will also mark their calendars in advance for next year’s annual Big Water Blowout River Festival, which is a raft, kayak, SUP, creature craft and dory boat event. Held in Riggins to kick off the summer season, the festival allows whitewater riders to fill the city park for big waves, discounted rafting trips, a dutch oven cook-off and live concerts. Next year’s event will take place Saturday, June 7.

Other Idaho whitewater fun includes the Boise River Park, located on the Boise River near downtown, which completed Phase I of its development plan and is now open for kayakers and SUP users.

More information about whitewater rafting in Idaho can be found online, including trip options for kids and seniors, special interest trips, experienced and certified outfitters and other opportunities.