Boise & Idaho info wanted - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-11-2007   #1
pbowman's Avatar
Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 249
Boise & Idaho info wanted

wife and i are planning a trip to idaho this summer, with specific plans to visit boise. we would primarily like some suggestions on when to go in order to maximize our enjoyment of kayaking and mountain biking (equal preference). if we hit the end of run off, will mountain biking trails start to dry out and be accessible, or do the trails stay wet until late summer? would a june trip accommodate both, or later into july? we are not trying to hit "peak" run off, but just want to be there when there is still enough water to boat.

we plan to take an extended vacation, around 2-3 weeks, and stay primarily in the boise area and then venture out from there. what are the local rivers within a half day drive, so I can do some more detailed research. no creeking, just CL III & IV so we can boat together. any "must do" recommendations for either the boat or the bike?

thanks in advance.

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Old 01-11-2007   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
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Payette, Payette, Payette!

Staircase and the Canyon run on the South Fork of the Payette are great class 4 runs. It's like an hour from Boise, maybe less.
The Cabarton stretch on the N. Fork of the Payette is a nice class 3.
Then there's the Class 5 gnar of the N. Fork, of course.

The Bliss Wave on the Hagerman stretch of the Snake is 45 minutes or an hour from Boise. It is spectacular, and it is in 365 days a year.

Climax is a stellar play spot on the Payette, the "Main" Payette, I think, -- but that isn't in all year. Gotta catch it right. I'm not informed enough to tell you when to be there for that.
In my couple years in Idaho, May seemed to be the prime time for the Payettes and June should be fine, too.

You'll have a great time.

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Old 01-11-2007   #3
Denver, Colorado
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I drove by the payette stuff coming out of boise heading up to the middle fork of the salmon in the end of july. Seems like thats that place to be for close to boise. Lots of boaters, probably pretty easy to get shuttles etc. From the drive by and checking out AW, looks like there is lots o class III/IV. I'd guess that late July / August would be a good time to go. They still have water then, and the boise area seemed pretty dry compared to the higher mountains (kinda like denver vs alpine mountains). It would be a hard to leave colorado in June or early July when everything is still running here and you are in primo boating time. Save idaho for when colorado is drying up, they will still have water in the payette system.
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Old 01-11-2007   #4
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Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
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pbowman, you might want to post on the Idaho Whitewater forum
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Old 01-11-2007   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I love Idaho whitewater. If it were a women, I'd marry it. You'll have a great time up there. I would recommend the Payette Canyon Run. It's a 2000 foot gorge with sweet class IV. There always seem to be people there on the weekend (not too many during the week). There always seems to be a good crowd on the Staircase Run as well after 5 PM on the weekdays. If you get a chance, take the highway north through McCall and on up to Kooskia to run the Lochsa. It's a big water classic in a beatiful inland rainforest that's class III and IV. Have fun!!
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Old 01-11-2007   #6
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Baytopia, Colorado
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south fork salmon
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Old 01-12-2007   #7
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Above posts are right on with the info on the Payette, definitely hit Staircase - that can be your backup daily plan if you have nothing else going on -easy to drive daily from Boise. And the Canyon is just unbelievable in terms of quality and quantity of play and general river running, and outstanding scenery.

I'd recommend a couple days in the SF Salmon drainage (~ 2 1/2 hr from Boise). I've lived in Boise for 2 years and I still have lots of exploring to do, but so far the SF is my favorite drainage in Idaho. East Fork South Fork Salmon River (EFSF) is a mile of hard class V followed by 12ish (??) miles of unbelievably high quality, nonstop, big, bouncy, busy class IV to IV+ depending on level; it's easy to just put on for the class IV section. And there's usually no one on it. The section below this is easier (III to III+ I think, I've not done it yet). And there's a lot of other good runs in teh SF drainage - Johnson Creek, Goat Creek section, Secesh, etc. Also, there is endless opportunity for mountain biking and stellar free camping everywhere.

Most runs are solid in terms of decent flows through July/August out here. One of the joys of Idaho is high water, though, because high water here is just a lot more volume than you see anywhere in Colorado, so if you like volume, I'd recommend a June trip. At the moment our snowpack is around 100% in north and central part of the state, ~80+ in south (Snake drainage).

Feel free to get in touch when you're out here if you're looking for folks to boat with - just send me a PM.

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Old 01-12-2007   #8
Golden, Colorado
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Mountainbuns. . .word.

How 'bout that run we had on NF of Boise last spring. FUUUUNNNNNNN!
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Old 01-15-2007   #9
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by Schizzle
Mountainbuns. . .word.

How 'bout that run we had on NF of Boise last spring. FUUUUNNNNNNN!
Hey is this you Fremont? Yeah, that was an incredible day on the river!

I remember you saying your range of motion was tough coming back after your surgery... I need to talk with ya. I am suffering- Had my surgery Nov 1 and ROM is not coming back. Last week they anesthetized the joint and cranked on it. I'd love to talk with you about your experience. If you get a chance, email or call (I've misplaced your info). riverbio (I'm leaving Friday for 3 weeks out of the country though).

Coming back out for more paddling??

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Old 01-15-2007   #10
Golden, Colorado
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Not sure if I'll make it out this year, yet, I want to, but I also want to see how the snowpack shapes up here in CO first. We've had blizzards one after another. Everyone at works bitches, but I'm psyched as hell. If it doesn't sputter out in the big snow months of March and April it might be a great year to take a week off and NOT travel, just do local CO stuff.

I've still got your number and I'll give you a call about that shoulder. You're way more active than me, soit didn't bother me as much to wait forever to let things heal up right. It really paid off I think. I didn't even start the slightest PT for 6 weeks and then it was only little tiny things like grip strength, slow-circles as such. Nothing that actually moved the joint much. I think it was maybe three to four months before I started serious PT. My ROM came back pretty fast after that, but I caveat that by saying that a certain part of it never comes back by design -- helps keep you from doing it again I guess. I think I got everything I was going to get in about 5 months. Doesn't bother me a bit though now in any of the sports I do. I lost a few dance moves, but that's it!

Best advice I can give is don't push it too hard and do what the doc tell you.
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