Boise River City Stretch

Paddling & Surf Locations

barber parkWhile the beautiful Boise River links our riverside park system's "String of Jewels" together through Idaho's Capital City, all of us want floating the river to be a fun, safe and enjoyable experience. The river is an amazing urban habitat for a wide variety of birds, plants and animals so we also stress preserving this precious environment. 

From fishing to paddling and floating, picnics to parks, more people are using the Boise River than ever before.

The following are tips, rules and information that will help make your experience on the Boise River safe and enjoyable. Most of the Information below is available on the Boise City Parks & Recreation website including additional resources and links - click here.

Main Put-In

For a map of the entire route including rest stops, put-ins and the take-out - click here.

Ada County's Barber Park is the starting point for most Boise River paddling and floating excursions. Barber Park is located six miles above downtown on Eckert Rd.

Raft and inner tube rentals are available at Barber Park through Epley's Boise River Rentals or you can rent rafts, SUPs and kayaks at Idaho River sports. Free air stations are available at Barber Park. One popular way of doing a raft rental is to rent your raft, PFDs and gear at IRS and get it pumped up before heading up the river.

Enroute Put-ins & Rest Stops

Boise Parks & Recreation has established four places paddlers can stop along the river between Barber and Ann Morrison Parks. Each stop has trash receptacles with regular pickups. The River Quarry site includes a port-a-pottie. Permanent restrooms are located in the stops at Julia Davis and Ann Morrison Parks. The map designates the floater rest stop locations. Directional signs approximately 100 yards before each rest stop will indicate site amenities available.

River Quarry

This put-in is located river left (on the left hand side of the river) just above Marden Bridge (Baybrook Court Bridge). The sigte has restroom and trash facilities.

Marden Bridge

This popular site is located on right right (the right side of the river) and is used by numerous paddlers and floaters. The site has trash facilities only.

Julia Davis Park

The last rest stop above Ann Morrison Park, this site is located river right. Trash facilities are located behind the site and restrooms are available across the road near the Julia Davis bandshell.

Ann Morrison Park Take-Out

Located six miles downstream from Barber Par, Ann Morrison is the final take-out spot for floaters. There are two take-out spots to relieve congestion both on river left (the left side of the river)on either or both sides of the footbridge. You are advised to avoid going further because a fairly dangerous irrigation dam is just below the park. Restrooms, trash and recycling bins are available for you to use at the take-out. A shuttle is also available here for a small fee to run paddlers and floaters to Barber Park.

A shuttle runs regularly between the two parks visit Epley's for more information. There is a cost to take the shuttle.

All floaters and those using Boise area parks are asked to be a good neighbor and not park on nearby residential streets and respect posted No Parking Zones. Violators risk a citation.

Life Vests and PFDs

Idaho law requires all vessels, including rafts, kayaks and canoes be equipped with a life vest for each person on board. Children 14 years of age and younger onboard vessels 19' or less are required under Idaho law to wear an approved life vest when the vessel is underway. Floaters older than 14 who are not strong swimmers are urged to wear life vests at all times. PFDs are available for rent at Idaho River Sports.

Alcohol and Containers

Glass containers of any kind are not allowed on the Boise River or in Boise Parks. Please carry your beverages in plastic or aluminum containers.

Open containers of alcohol are not allowed on the Boise River or in Boise City parks within 250 feet of the river as posted.

Beer and wine are allowed in Boise parks outside the 250 foot riverbank zone, unless otherwise designated. Permits are required for individual possession of beer/wine of more than 7 1/2 gallons (pony keg = 7 3/4 gallons, 3 cases = 6 3/4 gallons). A Beer/Wine Permit can be downloaded and submitted in accordance to rules and regulations as outlined on the application.

Litter and Recycling

No one wants to see litter in the river. Littering is illegal. Boise Parks & Recreation Department has provided trash and recycling bins at the rest stops and at the take-out in Ann Morrison Park for your use.

Prohibited Activities & Exceptions

Smoking, boogie/river boarding and camping is illegal within city limits along the river and in city park areas. While Bridge Jumping is legal, safety must be the priority while on the river. While jumping from bridges, trees or rocks into the river is legal, those who do so should be aware that doing so can be dangerous, and that they are jumping at their own risk. It is illegal, however to jump from or throw or drop any object, including a person, from any bridge, tree or other landscape features into the Boise River within fifty (50) feet of any boater, floater, rafter or tuber.

Greenbelt Congestion

Congestion on the Greenbelt at various bridges, primarily Marden Bridge, results in complaints from greenbelt users and is also a safety concern. When using the greenbelt.

Boise City Code prohibits obstructing the path way, bike lane, sidewalk, or roadway of any bridge in the city or causing the flow or movement of pedestrians, bikes, or vehicles to be obstructed. This also applies to the immediate area surrounding the access to the bridge. "Obstruct" means to stand more than two persons deep along the railing or side of any bridge or along the side of any bridge access way or occupy all or such portion of the path, lane, sidewalk, or road, as to block or delay more than momentarily safe passage of another person or vehicle using the path, lane, sidewalk, or road lawfully and carefully. Basically, be courteous and be sure that wherever you are on the Greenbelt, others can also safely use the pathway.

Camping is not allowed on the Boise River or in Boise City parks.

River Hazards

The environment along the river is ever changing and new hazards can appear at any time. The Boise Fire Department and the Boise Parks & Recreation Department continually monitor the Boise River recreation area throughout the season for snags or significant hazards. The City works with our river partners to mitigate those hazards for the community. It should be emphasized that the combined resources of the City of Boise and Ada County cannot clear the river of ALL hazards ALL the time. Users of the river use the river at their own risk.

If you see a snag or hazard in the river, please report it immediately to Ada County dispatch by calling 208-377-6790.

Use Greenbelt "DOTS" to provide your location in an emergency.

If you need emergency assistance along the river or greenbelt, DOTS, or the Directional and Orientation Trail System can help. DOTS are a series of 20-inch white spots painted onto the Greenbelt pavement every tenth of a mile. Inside the white spots are black numbers and letters that describe your location. The numbers represent how far that spot is from the base, or "zero" spot, which is located at the 8th Street pedestrian bridge on both sides of the river. The letters inside the spot indicate what sector of the Greenbelt it is on, such as the northwest quadrant, or the southeast quadrant. If you need help and can get to a DOT, emergency dispatchers can send help your way even faster.

Lost & Found - You may contact Boise Parks & Recreation Main Office at 208-608-7600.

Best Times to Float - Mornings or early afternoons are quietest along the river. Late afternoons and evenings are very busy.

Other Safety Tips from the City of Boise

• All floaters are encouraged to wear tennis shoes for safety and comfort.
• Floaters are urged to leave valuable items at home or secure valuable items while travelling on the river.
• Floaters are urged to watch for overhanging branches or swift currents that may cause rafts to overturn.
• Floaters should call 911 if they see a life-threatening or emergency situation.
• Floaters should not operate a raft, tube or other watercraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol.