Idaho July 12, 2017
The 9 Best Idaho Rivers For White Water Rafting This Summer
Idaho is often top ranked when it comes to water activities, and it’s not hard to see why. The abundance of natural bodies of water provides opportunities for everyone to stay cool during the summer, no matter their activity preference. Floating, kayaking, paddle boarding, Idaho has it all. However, our great state truly shines when it comes white water rafting. With countless rivers and rafting guide companies to choose from, white water rafting is a truly Idahoan activity. If you’re looking to add some thrills to your summer, plan a trip to one of the rivers on this list.
1. Bruneau River
Bruneau River is one of the most unique and stunning rivers in Idaho. Sections of this river range between Class II (mellow) to Class V (adrenaline pumping). It's a remote river with amazing canyon scenery.
2. Clearwater River
The Clearwater River is perfect for beginning rafters and families. It provides a pretty relaxed rafting experience, with Class II rapids thrown in every so often to mix things up. If you're looking for an easygoing day trip, the Clearwater is the river for you.
3. Lochsa River
The Lochsa River is recommended for intermediate to expert rafters. Parts of the Lochsa are wide and slow, but don't be fooled because it definitely makes up for it with fast and technical segments. A rafting trip on the Lochsa can take one to three days and is definitely one of the ultimate white water rafting experiences in Idaho.
4. Moyie River
The Moyie River is one of the lesser known rafting spots in Idaho, and is considered mid-range when it comes to difficulty. Its waters vary between Class II and Class III. The river takes you through a remote wilderness canyon with amazing views of the surrounding wildlife and scenery.
5. Payette River
The Payette River is a classic Idaho white water rafting experience. The Payette is considered to be good for first time rafters and large groups, with rapids ranging from Class II to Class III. Whether you're looking for a one day or a whole weekend adventure, the Payette has it all.
6. Salmon River
The Salmon River is also a popular rafting spot for many Idahoans. That's because the Salmon is great for both those who just want to get their feet wet and for hardcore adrenaline junkies. The best way to enjoy this river is with a multi-day rafting trip. The river's sandy beaches are great for relaxing in the evening, along with the many natural hot springs and pools.
7. Selway River
The Selway is great for rafters who are looking for some solitude since it boasts its limit of only one group launching per day. It's recommended for more experienced rafters with a Class IV difficulty. The Selway is a 47-mile and five-day rafting adventure with epic rapids and scenery.
8. Snake River
The Snake River prides itself on having the largest whitewater rapids of the Pacific Northwest. With a Class III rating, the Snake River is pretty moderate and it's an essential experience for whitewater rafters. It flows right through the deepest gorge in North America, Hells Canyon. The canyon drops down to a depth of approximately 8,000 feet, yielding amazing rapids and waves. You'll love the stunning rockscape scenery.
9. St. Joe River
The beautiful St. Joe River is ideal for beginners, although it does toss in some excitement from time to time. The crystal clear waters are slow paced, but it'd be wrong to assume you're in for a lazy river float. As the river narrows the water explodes into Class IV waves, keeping you on your toes.
What’s your favorite Idaho river to raft? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re looking for a more relaxing water adventure, check out the best Idaho rivers to float this summer
here and the best Idaho swimming holes here!