Photo from a raft of calm water on the South Fork of the Salmon river at high water.

Idaho Rafting and Kayaking

The wealth of free-flowing whitewater rivers in Idaho for rafting and kayaking is mind boggling. Fortunately there are so many good multi-day runs a kayak or rafting road trip is always worthwhile if you aren’t lucky enough to live there. An added bonus is that many of the trips float through our most pristine and protected Wilderness Areas. The 4 Rivers Lottery of the Selway, Middle Fork Salmon, Main Salmon and Hell’s Canyon on the Snake is just a starting point.

It is possible to raft almost 300 straight miles of river by continuously floating the Middle Fork Salmon (100 miles), Main Salmon (87), Vinegar Creek Run (25 miles), and the Lower Main (73 miles).

A similar length run can be done by starting high up on the Owyhee River on the Idaho and Oregon border though most boaters choose to run shorter sections of river. Another incredible run not far from the Owyhee is on the Jarbidge and Bruneau Rivers.

There are other amazing multi-day trips including the South Fork of the Salmon,

With a packraft and a little creativity, trip options become endless due to there being so many paddeable tributaries. Some classics include Moose Creek and Bear Creek on the Selway as well as Loon Creek (video), Camas Creek (video) and Big Creek on the Middle Fork Salmon.

It’s helpful to keep an eye on the snowpack (northern, southern) and historic peak runoff as May comes along to figure out the best options.

Classic Multi-day Runs of Idaho:

Middle Fork of the Salmon

Main Salmon


South Fork of the Salmon

More Incredible Multi-day Trips:

Lower Main Salmon

Jarbidge and Bruneau Rivers

Owyhee Runs: East Fork, South Fork, Upper, Deep Creek,

Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River