Idaho - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-12-2014   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Idaho

Hey all! I was wondering if anyone could provide some insight as to living in Idaho for paddling. I was wondering how access to the rivers are if one were to live in Boise (obviously the Payette is very close to both locations) or McCall, but what about other rivers? Also if anyone has experience living in other towns in Idaho and access to rivers, that would be appreciated. Also, how long does the average paddling season last in Idaho? Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-12-2014   #2
 
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Poundtown, Wokastan
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Access is about as good as it gets in the lower 48. There are just too many rivers to list around Boise to McCall. You could spend your whole life floating and not hit everything. The Idaho season is year round. Just got to know what's good at what flows and have a drysuit. Jobs are a tough find unless you have a high demand skill. Idaho is loaded with republicans so if your conservative this is your home. I suggest you bring your own money cuz people go broke following their Idaho whitewater dreams. Just saying. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2014   #3
 
Central, Idaho
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Mccall area

I moved to the McCall area for work and was initially disappointed as I was mainly interested in climbing at the time. But after discovering kayaking I'm having a hard time thinking of living anywhere else. I think it's a stretch to call the Idaho boating season year round. People certainly do, but I would say the good flows are from April to October. During run off the options within a couple hours are pretty awesome.

little salmon/hazard creek and lake fork creek are after easy to do after work and quality 4/4+ runs.

South salmon drainage is loaded (secesh, 2 different sections of the east fork south fork, a few different runs on the s salmon and Johnson creek) drive time varies between an hour to two plus depending on what roads are open. About 2.5-3 hrs north is the s fork Clearwater great class 4-5, two different runs. A little further is the lochsa and selway. All this stuff runs April-June on average.

Once the snowmelt runs dry up the Payettes are the place to be. I don't think they need much introduction, runnable through October usually. S fork is runnable all winter if it doesn't freeze. Surf on main salmon in Riggins is good all year also if not frozen, usually pretty mild there even in December or January. Kelly's ww park in cascade is good as long as the n for Payette is running. Play park in boise too. Some good big water runs on the snake, closer to boise but probably worth the drive once and a while.

As in writing this I'm realizing just how much there is... Within long weekend trip distance to stuff down south ( multidays on owyhee, Bruneau, jarbidge) and creeking in panhandle. Ya there's a shit ton, as a river runner I think boise or McCall are hard to beat. Good biking, skiing, fishing and hunting too.
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Old 02-12-2014   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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You guys have been awesome. Thanks for getting back to me and providing me with the info I was looking for. My lady and I are looking to move to Idaho and I am going to start applying for jobs there within the next few months. Once again thanks guys!
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Old 02-12-2014   #5
 
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Poundtown, Wokastan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob729 View Post
You guys have been awesome. Thanks for getting back to me and providing me with the info I was looking for. My lady and I are looking to move to Idaho and I am going to start applying for jobs there within the next few months. Once again thanks guys!
If you move to mccall you could just pick hackle berries from july and august and that just might tie you over all year! people where selling them for $30 a gallon last year! Also I think Idaho could use another shuttle company. Good Luck
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Old 02-12-2014   #6
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbagkayaker View Post
If you move to mccall you could just pick hackle berries from july and august and that just might tie you over all year! people where selling them for $30 a gallon last year! Also I think Idaho could use another shuttle company. Good Luck
I love McCall. My best friend was born and raised there. Her folks still live there, so I visit from time to time. Very much a small tourist town in the summer, but still laid back and fun. My friend's dad knows all the secret huckleberry picking spots
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Old 02-12-2014   #7
 
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2013
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Idaho - McCall/Boise

Bigwater87 highlighted a ton of the benefits of living in SW Idaho . . . I have personally lived in Colorado, Wyoming, 7 years in McCall and also in Boise. McCall is an awesome small resort ski town with some of the best access to outdoor sports anywhere in the west. Boise is a great community (I prefer the downtown area over the burbs) and there are a ton of people in Idaho that are conservatives but there are a ton of liberals too depending on what you prefer.
Access to rivers is equal in both Boise and McCall. Easier access to Main Salmon, Little Salmon and northern Idaho rivers from McCall. Easier access to Owyhee, Main Payette, and many other rivers in the southern part of the state from Boise.
Jobs can be tough to come by in McCall however with only 2,000 permanent residents. Housing is more affordable in Boise and jobs are more plentiful. McCall does get a lot of snow (we have had a foot of snow in our yard the first week of June) so if you don't like winter you are better off living in Boise.
I'd be happy to help with any recommendations if need be once you get closer to making a decision and may have some hookups for you in McCall if you decide to move that direction.
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Old 02-12-2014   #8
 
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bc, CA
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We visit Idaho every summer for a paddling vacation. Great rivers and ww play parks. I love it there.
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Old 02-13-2014   #9
 
Blarney, Iowa
Join Date: Aug 2010
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We paddle all year round.

People are running South Fork Payette today, this morning. If that is iced over, they are down on the Snake River or Malad. Of course, everything goes off in the spring, but winds down a bit in the summer.

WWP is awesome, but is getting hella crowded during the summer months with surfers and body boarders. I predict a lot of user-conflicts and fights in the future. The surfers are already bitching that they don't enough "green wave" time, even though it was the whitewater / kayak community who organized, raised funds, donated, and otherwise built that damn park.

Frustrating...
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Old 02-13-2014   #10
 
Blarney, Iowa
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Jobs in Boise are TOUGH, depending on your field. Most boaters in the Boise community do some variation of health care / nursing / EMT, so good luck getting that gig. Many of us are over-educated, underemployed grunts who stick around for a crappier job and lower pay because of the paddling. Same applies for people in all sorts of recreational interests.

If you're willing to make peanuts in exchange for recreational opportunities, move here. If you actually want a successful career and to make some bucks... I advise elsewhere.

Just being real.
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