Thursday, July 7, 2022

Beat the Heat! Five alternative, off-the-beaten path destinations for SUP'ing and kayaking in SW Idaho

Low-key SUP adventure at Discovery State Park 

Hi all,

The weather is heating up, and we'll be hitting 100 degrees in Boise several days in a row next week! 

Time to cool off in the river! Where to go? 

Everyone will be flocking to Barber Park to float the Boise River or to Quinn's Pond to go Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), hanging out on the beach or kayaking. 

Quinn's Pond has been the go-to destination for SUPs in Boise, and often times, it's challenging to even find a place to park at Esther Simplot Park to get easy access to Quinn's Pond. However, the old Bob Rice Ford parking lot is a great alternative, with plenty of space and a new and improved boat launch from that side of the pond. 

To find a little more elbow room, here are some suggested alternative destinations to go SUP'ing, canoeing or kayaking.

You also can inquire with the experts Idaho River Sports and Alpenglow Mountainsport (both of whom have tons of SUP and kayak rentals available) for ideas, or consult my guidebook, Paddling the Payettewhich has more than 15 fantastic flat-water and moderate, swift-water destinations for SUPs and kayaks. 

Be sure to wear life jackets, helmets and safety gear on rocky moving water like the Boise River and Payette River. Stay away from the river banks when possible as well to avoid getting caught in debris, downed trees, etc. 

1. Discovery State Park - Located at the foot of Lucky Peak Dam, Discovery Park is a great place to paddle in the Boise River below the dam. The shady park is a great place to hang out, so bring a picnic, and there is a great spot for off-leash dogs to run around. You can paddle towards Diversion Dam, or just paddle around next to the park. 

Paddling SUPs at Discovery Park. 

Arrowrock Reservoir near full pool. 

2. Arrowrock Reservoir - Quiet and uncrowded. Lots of places to launch by campgrounds or other dispersed sites along the west side of the reservoir by the Middle Fork Road. Could be windy in the afternoon, so be aware of that. 

3. Mores Creek arm of Lucky Peak Reservoir. Put in at Robie Creek Park. Quiet and relatively uncrowded.

Video courtesy Idaho Caller 

4. Payette River - Montour reach near Sweet. Moving water but no rapids. Multiple sand bars as the river level drops. Put-in at the Montour IDFG Wildlife Managemennt Area by the river bridge. Easy bike shuttle possible by planting a bike at the beginning of Black Canyon Reservoir. 3.5 miles. 

5. Centennial Park to Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls. World-class paddling experience in the giant Snake River Canyon. See post in Southern Idaho Tourism for details and directions! Fabulous trip!(Video courtesy Southern Idaho Tourism)

Have fun and stay cool close to the water! 

- SS 

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