Summer Fun: Floating the Boise River from Barber Park

Relax on an inner tube as you float peacefully down the Boise River. As you float down the river, you’ll find all sorts of beautiful wildlife and plant life. Stay alert, and you’ll be able to spot Bald Eagles, the incredible Great Blue Heron, and a wide variety of ducks, including the Mallard Duck. If you have a keen eye, you might even catch a glimpse of the many hummingbirds.

Of course, the variety of wildlife you might see is just a bonus. The Boise River is reward enough, and the long six-mile float will keep you plenty entertained, or you can just enjoy the nice leisurely float. The river really is the gem of Boise, and it’s a beautiful area full of fun activities and nature.

Getting in the Water

Your floating adventure on the Boise River starts before you even get in the water. There are some things that you will need to get ready. If you’re floating, the most important thing to have is the inner tube, raft, or kayak. You have plenty of choice here, and you can float however you want. Keep in mind the kind of floating device you use will determine the nature of your trip.

Inner Tube

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing float where you let the river handle all of the work, you’ll want an inner tube. The river is your power here. All you have to do is sit back and relax. Enjoy trailing your fingers and toes in the water while the river gently carries you away. Of course, if you’re floating in an inner tube, you’ll want to make sure you’ve planned ahead and have enough time. If you don’t want to float the entire stretch of river, there are plenty of rest stops along the way. Don’t have an inner tube? Not to worry. You can buy one nearby, and they are fairly inexpensive. Just be aware that there aren’t any rental options for inner tubes.

Summer Raft

If you are going to float the Boise River with friends or family, inner tubes can still be a good option. But, if you want to all stick together, you’ll probably want to rent an inflatable raft. Rafts offer plenty of room, and they also offer more control than an inner tube. You’ll use both the current of the river and paddles. Steering is easier this way, and you can hurry up your trip a little bit if time’s an issue. Raft rentals are available at Barber Park, near where you’ll put in. Rafts are the best option for a group, and they’re a lot of fun.


Kayaks offer a kind of mix between inner tubes and rafts. Kayaks are typically single person watercrafts, but you paddle. This is a great option if you’re alone or going with a group of friends or family. Paddle when you need to, but otherwise, let the river carry you across the water and enjoy the view. Again, kayak rentals are available at Barber Park, so you can get everything you need at the river. Hop on in, and enjoy a fun water experience.

Other Equipment

Even if you’re a good swimmer, the law does require everyone to have personal floatation devices ready and available. Under a certain age, and it’s mandatory to wear one. Fret not. If you don’t have life jackets, these are available to rent at Barber Park as well.

You might also need paddles as well, if you’re taking a raft or a kayak onto the Boise River. These are also available to rent at Barber Park. For the most part, there are rental options to cover any of your needs, as well as shuttle services if you want to use them.

Enjoying Boise

Barber Park and the Boise River are prime examples of the kind of fun and activities that are available in the City of Boise. Whether you already live here, or are looking at moving to Idaho, Boise has plenty to offer that will keep you active and outside. After all, living here is a lifestyle, so it’s important that your home allows you to enjoy your active and outdoor lifestyle. You won’t be disappointed when you move to Boise, and the Boise River is only a small piece of the larger puzzle that makes Boise the incredible city that it is. While you’re waiting, embrace the weather, and float down the Boise River.

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