In the warm summer months, a float down the Boise River is a rite of passage for city residents and visitors to the area. In the high arid desert region, the river provides cool water from mountain snowmelt that makes the hottest days tolerable.
The river float starts at the Barber Park put-in and stretches 6 miles to Ann Morrison Park. The trip features waterfall rapids that cascade over small man-made dams in the river. The river also winds between two stretches of the Boise River Greenbelt, which offers miles of river access to walkers, bikers, and runners throughout the city. Your journey will start on the outskirts of town and take you into the heart of Boise City as you pass by natural areas, parks, the Boise State University Campus, and downtown.
Wildlife is abundant around stretches of the river, including deer, muskrat, ducks and geese, eagles, owls, coyotes, and other native species. The river also offers popular fishing for trout in the area.
Rest stops are available for floaters along the trip, providing bathroom facilities and trash disposal along the way. The put-in at Barber Park has abundant fee parking, which is $5 on weekdays and $6 on weekends and holidays. Barber Park also has air pump stations that are free and accessible to floaters. Float devices and shuttle services are available from Boise River Raft & Tube. The shuttle cost is $3 per person.
Note that rafts, kayaks, and canoes are required to have personal flotation devices per Idaho law. Also, please do not bring glass on the river. Local law enforcement closely regulates drinking alcohol and the use of glass on the river, and both are subject to fines.