Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's getting hot - time to break out the paddling gear and float your favorite Idaho Rivers

South Fork Canyon "hang on!" 
North Fork Payette River, Class 5 section 
Mixmaster, Main Payette 
Go Left Rapids, Main Payette 
Main Payette, Bennett Rock Rapids  
Hi all,

The mercury is rising as if it's late June, even though it's early May. Temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-80s on Saturday and hit 90 on Sunday. Time to break out the paddling gear and go boating - either flatwater touring or whitewater kayaking or rafting.

I was up on the Payette River on Wednesday, and the water is coming up fast. The main Payette was running 4,350 cfs today (Thursday), the South Fork "Staircase" section 2,400+ cfs, the South Fork "Canyon" 1,620 cfs, the North Fork 1,140 at Banks, and the Middle Fork Tie Creek section 800+ cfs.

That's plenty of water for a good time on any those Payette River sections, plus Cabarton south of Cascade, or one could run the Upper Payette from Grand Jean down to Kirkham Hot Springs. I'm planning on taking some soccer kids on the Main Payette on Sunday afternoon.

If you've got your own gear, you know the drill! Gather up some friends, gear up and go.

If not, you can rent paddling gear from Idaho River Sports, Alpenglow Mountainsport or Boise Army Navy in Boise, or you can book a paddle-boat trip with an outfitter -- both Cascade Raft and Kayak and Bear Valley Outfitters are ready to roll.
Make sure you wear a life jacket
on the Payette River. 

If you rent the gear, and don't know the Payette River very well, consider buying my trusty guidebook, "Paddling the Payette," which provides a detailed guide to all of the rapids on the Payette River and all of the flatwater trips as well. Many people don't realize that there is more flatwater boating on the Payette, than whitewater. My guide tells you where to find 14 flatwater adventures, and 10 whitewater trips. It costs $12.95, and it's available for sale online, or you can buy individual paddling trips for 99 cents each online.

If you like to go inflatable kayaking, but you don't have your own IK, you can rent one, or you can book an IK trip with Cascade Raft and Kayak on Saturdays. They're offering a special on IK trips. Inquire with Cascade for details on rates and times available.

On Sunday, the Idaho Canoe SUP Club, an offshoot of Idaho River Sports, is hosting the ever-popular Mother's Day float on the Middle Fork of the Payette River "Tie Creek" section, upstream of Crouch. This is a beautiful 9-mile float trip on flatwater, with eddies and current. It's suitable for canoes, inflatable kayaks and small rafts. Here's a previous blog entry with photos all about the Middle Fork trip.

If you'd like to go on the Middle Fork trip, and you don't have a boat, IRS is offering a special of $35 for either a canoe or IK rental for the day. You'd need to pick up your craft on Saturday afternoon to do the trip on Sunday. Call 336-4844 for more information. The canoe club group is meeting at the park in Crouch at 10 a.m. to set shuttle vehicles, before heading up to the Tie Creek Campground to launch the trip.
Calling all cyclists! Look ahead to Boise Bike Week next week. Check out a fun-filled calendar of events from Monday through Saturday of next week. At minimum, make an extra effort to commute by bicycle to work or the store next week, and try to attend as many events as possible to support cycling in our pro-cycling community.
The Coyote Classic bike race and fun ride are coming up Saturday at Avimor. If you've always wanted to check out the course, but don't care for racing, they are offering a no-drop group ride on Saturday as well. You'll need to sign up for the event in advance to participate. Avimor has a ton of cool trails to check out, including a number of new trails. This would be a good opportunity to experience them.
In case you were wondering, the North Fork Championships is coming back this year on June 6, 7 and 8. See their Facebook page for more details.

Have fun!
- SS

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