Gem State Roundup

What Idahoans should know before floating the Boise River

By: - July 4, 2023 3:45 am
A section of the Boise River blocked by branches.

Downed trees in the Boise River are known as “strainers,” which block river flow and the river channel, posing a significant threat to floaters’ safety. (Courtesy of Boise River Flood Control District #10)

Many Idahoans float the Boise River every summer, becoming a staple attraction for the city of Boise. With temperatures rising this week, Flood District #10 officials warn floaters about the potential dangers of floating the Boise River. 

Officials said the safest area of the river to float is the most commonly used area, from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park. This section of the river is surveyed for potential hazards by the Boise Fire Department, Boise Parks and Recreation and Ada County officials to further ensure the safety of floaters. The rest of the river is not surveyed. 

According to a press release by Flood District #10 officials, it is recommended that all people floating the Boise River wear a personal floatation device such as a life jacket. 

Flood District #10 officials encourage those who are planning to float lesser used parts of the river to scout out the section beforehand in search of any potential hazards. If there is ever a point where floaters are unable to see what lies ahead of them, they are encouraged to exit the river and look ahead on shore. 

“When in doubt, get out and scout,” Mike Dimmick, district manager for Flood District #10 said in the press release. “It’s always better to be safe, than sorry.”

Another danger that floaters should be aware of is the temperature of the Boise River. Since it is very cold, anyone who is forced within the water for an extended period of time runs the risk of becoming hypothermic or drowning. 

Ada County Parks and Waterways has published a handy Floater Guide that provides a map of the Boise River from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park. Idaho Parks and Recreation also has safety tips and boating safety classes that floaters can take.


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Moesha Aplicano Burnham
Moesha Aplicano Burnham

Moesha Aplicano Burnham was interning through Voces Internship of Idaho, and previously interned with Boise Weekly. In high school, Moesha was the Editor-in-Chief of the school's Newspaper, and has loved writing since she could pick up a pencil. She was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, and deeply enjoys learning and writing about local news. In her free time, Moesha enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her cat.