Summer Bucket List: Float the Boise River

The Boise River, nestled in the heart of Idaho’s capital city, is a hidden gem that offers a refreshing and tranquil escape from the urban bustle. With its crystal-clear waters, lush green surroundings, and soothing currents, floating along the Boise River has become a popular pastime for both locals and visitors alike.  

As you embark on a river adventure, you’ll quickly find yourself captivated by the Boise River’s picturesque scenery. The river meanders through stunning landscapes, including lush forests, rolling hills, and vibrant meadows. Towering trees provide shade and create a tranquil atmosphere as you peacefully glide along the water’s surface. Along the riverbanks, you might catch glimpses of diverse wildlife, such as deer, eagles, and even the occasional river otter. Immerse yourself in this pristine environment and revel in the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. 

Floating the Boise River isn’t just about relaxation—it offers an array of recreational opportunities. With numerous access points, you can choose from a variety of floating routes, ranging from a short one-hour excursion to a full-day adventure. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling whitewater experience or a leisurely float, the Boise River caters to all preferences. Grab your inflatable tube, kayak, or paddleboard and set off on a journey that promises excitement and fun.

Along the way, you can enjoy swimming in calm sections, sunbathing on rocky beaches, or even stopping for a picnic on the riverbanks. The river also boasts excellent fishing spots, attracting anglers in search of rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and catfish. As you float, don’t forget to soak in the warm Idaho sunshine and relish the opportunity to disconnect from the digital world, immersing yourself in the natural wonders that surround you.

While floating the Boise River is a delightful experience, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Always wear a properly fitted life jacket and bring sunscreen, water, and snacks to stay hydrated and energized during your journey. Be mindful of any rules or regulations imposed by local authorities and respect the river’s ecosystem by disposing of trash responsibly.

Additionally, it’s advisable to check the river’s water levels and weather conditions before setting out. Spring and early summer typically offer the best floating conditions, with ample water flow and pleasant temperatures. Consulting local resources or outfitters can provide valuable information on river conditions and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Pro tips: Check for current conditions and announcements before planning your day! Rent a tube and check the shuttle schedule at You have 3 options for getting to and from the put-in. 1) If you have at least 2 vehicles in your group, park at Ann Morrison Park and hop in one vehicle with your tubes to Barber Park. When you get out at the end of the river, you’ll be back at your vehicles and can drive back up to get the one you parked at Barbers. 2) Park at Ann Morrison and shuttle up to Barbers Park ($3 pp). When you get out at the end of the river, you’ll be back at your vehicles, ready to dry off and head home. 3) Park at Barbers Park. When you get out at the end of the river, take the shuttle back to Barbers Park to retrieve your car.