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Whitewater Rafting

Map of Southwest Idaho

Click here for town and road map of Southwest Idaho: (5504 bytes)

The town and road map of Southwest Idaho will help you locate cities, towns and other attractions.

Cities and Towns of Southwest Idaho
Horseshoe Bend
Idaho City
Long Valley
Mountain Home
Treasure Valley

Idaho Travel Regions and Maps
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Idaho Travel Regions
Southwest Idaho

Southwest Idaho is true river country. Its geography is a tapestry of some of the West's most powerful and abundant river sources. River rafting is a way of life on the Boise, Payette and Snake Rivers, where class strength can range from a lazy float to an adrenalin-charged class V. The popular Snake River cuts across the base of the region, heading northwest until it reaches the Oregon and Idaho border, where it turns abruptly north and forms the boundary between the two states and the dramatic Hells Canyon.

But river rafting and fishing aren't the only things to do in this area. The Snake River canyon provides the ideal setting for observing wildlife that is not normally found in the more populated areas of Idaho. Some 24 different species of raptors receive protection from the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), south of Boise. The NCA supports education and ongoing raptor research projects. Hiking, fishing and boating are permitted on portions of the NCA's 600,000 acres. Swan Falls Dam, built in 1901, lies within the NCA and is the oldest hydroelectric dam on the Snake River. Semi-primitive camping is located above and below the dam.

Bruneau Dunes State Park, south of Mountain Home, is evidence of this region's unique geologic history. Dunes towering as high as 450 feet are replenished by decomposed lava rock that is scoured off a nearby plateau. Scientists believe this shaping and sculpturing of these sand dunes can be traced back several millennium to the Bonneville Flood, some 15,000 years ago, when the Snake River was forced to change course to its present path.

Numerous scenic drives stitch the Southwest region, linking the capital, Boise, with remote and awe-inspiring scenery. Southwest Idaho Travel Association can provide a list of scenic routes to take.

A variety of landscapes await exploration in Southwest Idaho - from fertile valleys to alpine forests, from deep canyons to high desert mountains.


Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area - Kuna
The constant updrafts above desert floor in this stretch of the Snake River Canyon provides the ideal hunting ground for rare birds of prey.

Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey - Boise
See a variety of birds of prey close up through one way glass. The giant harpy eagle has a wingspan of nearly seven feet.

Bruneau Dunes State Park - Mountain Home
The tallest single structured sand dunes in America rise up to 470 feet above several bass-filled lakes. Bighorn sheep scale the cliffs above Bruneau Canyon.


Located approximately 12 miles northeast of Horseshoe Bend, the very small community (population 17 people) is where the North and South Forks of the Payette River meet, making this a popular rafting and kayaking destination. The "Main" run of the Payette River begins at Banks, while the "Staircase" run on the South Fork ends at Banks.



The eastern gateway to the awe inspiring Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.

These outfitters run rivers that flow through isolated backcountry. Experience natural beauty, white water, history, and a diversity of wildlife. There is time for fishing, hiking, exploring long abandoned cabins, mines, and Indian sites, and for enjoying ecologically sound camping.

Hells Canyon Raft Inc. PO Box 234, Cambridge, ID 83610. Phone: 208-257-3353, Toll-free: 1-800-523-6502; Fax: 208-257-3353. E-mail

Hughes River Expeditions, Inc. PO Box 217, Cambridge, ID 83610. Phone: 208-257-3477; Toll-free: 1-800-262-1882; Fax: 208-257-3476. E-mail


Cascade Chamber of Commerce. PO Box 571, Cascade ID 83611. Phone: 208-382-3833. E-mail

Wapiti Meadow Ranch - Cascade
The ranch is endorsed by the Orvis company as a Fly fishing lodge. Offers private cabins with roomy living areas, baths and kitchens for snacks and coffee; "Hearty gourmet" cuisine features prime rib, Cornish game hen and salmon. Activities are guided by professional fly fishermen on blue ribbon trout waters and experienced horsemen using well-mannered, mountain-wise horses.

Glenns Ferry

Site of the annual Three Island Crossing, a reenactment of the pioneers crossing the Snake River on their trek west.

Horseshoe Bend

Cascade Raft and Kayak. 7050 Hwy 55, Horseshoe Bend, ID 83629. Phone: 208-793-2221; Toll-free: 1-800-292-7238.

Whitewater rafting and kayak trips on the Payette River. Kayaking instruction and kid's adventure camps, near Boise

Idaho City

During the mid-1800s gold rush, it was the largest city in the Northwest. Gold fever was rife, and it is said that of the 200 men and women buried at Boot Hill, only 28 died of natural causes.

Long Valley

The north fork of the Payette River crashes and tumbles down this narrow, picturesque alpine Valley, joining the 20 mile long Cascade Reservoir, and Payette Lake. A year round center of outdoor activity, as people partake in all kinds of water or snow sports.




Cherry Festival

Idaho Press Tribune. 1618 N. Midland Boulevard, PO Box 9399, Nampa, ID 83651. Phone: 208-467-9251. E-mail

Treasure Valley

The mild climate and wooded streams of Treasure Valley once attracted six different Indian tribes for a two month trade fair and salmon bake. Today, the Valley's rich volcanic soil is used to produce over 70 cash crops, including grape growing. Sample the Valley's bounty at its wineries, and many fruit and vegetable stands.


National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest
Initiated in 1953, the contest is held in the third full week of June, and includes nightly entertainment by musical groups from around the U.S. The Contest now certifies fiddling contests in 29 states. Find here event schedules, contestant and ticket information, and past winners.

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