Idaho and Water Tourism
Lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds can provide some of the most fun and interesting activities a human can enjoy. You might fish on a lake or watch a bull deer sip water from a pond or hop in a giant raft with ten others and take on a collection of river rapids. One of the things that makes Idaho such an incredible state is the amount of freshwater which is coursing through it on a daily basis. Sure, it does not run up against an ocean-like many of the coastal states of the United States, but it has rivers that look like blue veins on a map and large lakes that are ideal for boating. Idaho is almost overflowing with water and it is all there for the taking (Some of it is not exactly there for the taking since it is needed for clean consumption, but it is still useful and nice to have). If you do not know what exactly Idaho has to offer when it comes to water, I want to give you a guide that will introduce you to all of the different rivers and lakes that can be found in the state’s borders.
Rivers hold a special place in Idaho’s gemlike heart. Idaho has some really great lakes, but it has spectacular rivers and there are miles and miles of them that run across the state. In fact, only a few other states can really match Idaho when it comes to sheer mileage of rivers. You have the mighty arteries like the Snake River that run almost the entire course of Idaho and you have the smaller and quainter rivers like the Boise River where you can find a bunch of different events and fun buildings that might be worth visiting. One of the things that makes Idahoans really love their rivers is the white water rafting that is done. Many of the rivers are filled with a fast current and lots of rapids and that can make for a harrowing and exhilarating raft ride across them. It can get a little dangerous, but for the most part, it is safe and a lot of fun. River fishing is also some of the best fishing you can do. If you have only ever gone to a lake for fishing or done it off the side of a boat, river fishing is a fair amount more like hunting than most other kinds of fishing. You have to search for where the fish are in the river. They like to congregate in some areas and totally avoid others. The rivers of Idaho are excellent for all kinds of fun in the water and there are so many of them that you will always have a new setting to fish, canoe, raft, or swim in.
Now, while Idaho does not have the great and massive lakes of others states (Looking at Michigan and Utah here, though the Great Salt Lake does not have much you can actually do in it) it does have some moderately sized lakes distributed around the state. The two most famous lakes in Idaho are probably the lake the comes right up against Coeur d’Alene and Lake Lowell that comes right up against Nampa in the Treasure Valley. Lake Lowell is a much smaller lank than what you might be used to from other states, but it is unique in being a core part of the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge, an area that is intended to take care of different migrating birds as well as other animal life that is not prepared to have to deal with so much urbanization and human intervention. Lake Coeur d’Alene is a great place to take out a motorboat and motor around the water for a while, maybe dragging an inner tube or water skier behind you if you feel so inclined. Just being out on the lake for a day with a boat or on the beach can be a lot of fun. And while I think river fishing is the superior form of angling, lake fishing can still be a great time and fishing from a boat is not something you can do without a large body of water like a lake. There are no real massive lakes in Idaho (Though Coeur d’Alene’s lake is pretty big) but the lakes Idaho does have are nice and quaint and fun to be in and around.
One form of water that many other states do not have in the same quantity and of the same quality as Idaho is hot springs. Hot springs go hand in hand with rivers, but they are basically a different sort of animal. You are not exactly supposed to have fun in a hot spring. Rather, it is a way to relax and maybe even escape the cold that Idaho might be spitting out in the winter. Many hot springs in the state or remote and hard/ impossible to get to in the winter but where you can find them, the Idaho hot springs are a blessing that is hard to ignore. There are places like Lava Hot Springs that are basically resort towns with water parks around the hot springs, places like Burgdorf Hot Springs which just have a few cabins and wooden buildings set up for bather to enjoy, and then there are places like Rock Canyon Hot Springs, where there might not be a soul around for miles and you are just in a very warm part of a river. All of these different locations and kinds of hot springs have their benefits and downsides but the springs themselves are ideal for slipping into and dropping all your troubles. Some of these springs are just a ring of rocks in an otherwise cold river but the rocks keep the warmth of the spring in and can make for an incredibly relaxing experience in an incredibly beautiful setting.