Fun Spots to Stand Up Paddle Board in Idaho

Next to our headquarters state we're talking about Idaho and covering all our favorite spots for Stand Up Paddle Boarding.


stand up paddle boards

Nestled beside Utah and with deep roots in Idaho, we have the inside scoop on the best stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) spots in Idaho's vast, breathtaking landscapes. With countless exceptional places to explore, finding the best locales for paddleboarding in the "Gem State" can be quite the endeavor. Whether renting a SUP or toting an inflatable one, Idaho's terrains are guaranteed to leave an indelible impression of awe.

Quinn's Pond & Esther Simplot Park: A Paddler's Sanctuary

paddle boards on the beach of a lake

Imagine a 55-acre sanctuary designed with paddleboarders and kayakers in mind. That's Esther Simplot Park, intertwined with waterways that weave a scenic route through Simplot ponds and neighboring Quinn's Pond. This seamless connection to Boise River Park and the expansive Veteran’s Memorial Park downstream invites paddlers into a continuous journey of exploration. Quinn's Pond, a hotspot for flat water paddling and SUP yoga, is ideal for novices learning the strokes of paddling.

The area isn't just scenic but also functional, serving as a hub for local events and the Boise Whitewater Park. Here, a city-crafted river wave beckons SUP surfers and wave riders alike, offering a unique urban surfing experience. This corner of Boise teems with enthusiasts on sunny days, all lined up for the thrill of the perpetual wave. For those new to river paddling, we suggest boards that are shorter with smaller fins, though versatile all-around paddleboards can also serve well as surfboards.

paddle board on a wave

Shoshone Falls: The Inflatable SUP's Challenge

paddle boards in idaho

Revered as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls towers at a majestic 212 feet. While most visitors are relegated to the overlook, adventurous paddleboarders can witness this spectacle from a rare vantage point below. The round trip on the Snake River spans about 7 miles in waters calm enough to resemble an alpine lake paddle. SUPs with displacement hulls are the gear of choice here for their ability to navigate the choppy water with ease, and their lighter weight is a boon for the necessary portage.

Before embarking on this trek, a paddleboard must be adorned with safety essentials like a PFD, whistle, and an Idaho invasive species sticker. The journey isn't just about reaching Shoshone; it also encompasses the stunning Pillar Falls. Post Pillar, a short but crucial portage awaits, so choosing a lightweight SUP is advisable. Rentals and purchases can be made at local outfitters, prepared to equip paddlers for this breathtaking excursion.

Bloomington Lake: High-Altitude Paddling Bliss

inflatable paddle board on bloomington lake

For those who don’t mind a bit of a hike, Bloomington Lake is your alpine paddleboarding haven. At an elevation of 8300 feet, the journey involves a moderate 1.6-mile trail, your inflatable SUP in tow. But the reward is immense: a serene alpine lake, often shared with few others, surrounded by the steep cliffs of the Bear River Range. These cliffs, retaining snow into the warmer months, provide a striking contrast to the clear blue waters, and for the bold, a chilling plunge from their heights into the lake below.

paddle board in the distance

Ensuring your paddleboard is equipped with multiple attachment points is key, allowing all necessary gear to accompany you without compromising stability. The seclusion of Bloomington Lake promises a unique SUP experience, where one can paddle in peace, enveloped by nature's grandeur.

Kuna Indian Creek: Whitewater SUP Haven

white water paddle boarding

Venture into the heart of Idaho's SUP scene, and you’ll find that whitewater paddling is the soul of the sport here. While the Payette, Salmon, and Snake Rivers are well-known for their rapids, Indian Creek offers its own set of challenges and joys. It's a favorite local haunt for floating and SUP, featuring small whitewater chutes and surfable waves in high water seasons.

The entry point from Indian Creek Elementary School marks the start of a thrilling descent, beginning with class I rapids and culminating in a lengthy class II/III rapid through a narrow canyon. After navigating these waters, paddlers can relax in eddies, scale the canyon walls, or enjoy a refreshing swim. Strategically placed public access points provide convenient locations to conclude the adventure.

Conclusion: Idaho's Endless SUP Possibilities Idaho’s vastness offers a seemingly endless array of SUP spots, each with its distinct character and charm. From Quinn's Pond's tranquil waters to the exhilarating chutes of Indian Creek, there's a place for every paddleboarder’s taste. The key to a fulfilling SUP adventure lies in matching your skill level with the challenge of the waterway and ensuring you're well-equipped with the proper gear. With safety as a priority, the SUP experiences in Idaho are bound to be both thrilling and secure, inviting paddlers back season after season. Whether it's for the serene paddles or the adrenaline-fueled whitewater, Idaho's waters are ready to welcome all who bring a board and a sense of adventure.

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