Idaho Canoeing

Seeking information about slow water in Idaho for a laid back 2 day canoe trip anywhere in Idaho. We just want to cruise the country, camp, and de-stress. Timeframe is around August 1st. Class II -maybe III rapids okay (we don’t want to fall asleep!). Any advise??? Thanks…

North Idaho Canoe spots
Greetings from Coeur D Alene. I paddle a great deal in North Idaho from Riggins north to the border. Mostly whitewater/sea kayaks. There are so many places to paddle for canoes in the region. A few of my favorites:

The main Salmon around Riggins.

Some pretty good Class 3 rapids but my canoeing friends do the stretch from the put in at Vinegar creek all the way down to the put in at Hammer Creek. You can set up a camp at one of many beaches or organized camp sites and day paddle easily. It is hot in canyon that time of year and the water is really warm. We usually camp at Spring Bar camp. It is forest service and requires a fee. Good fresh water and toilets

The Lower St Joe River.

Look at the stretch from Heyburn State Park on lake Coeur D Alene and work your way upstream as far as you want. Flatwater

The Lower Coeur D Alene River.

The stretch from the Cataldo Mission to the lake would have enough water that time of year. Flatwater

The Lower Selway

Look at the section just above the confluence with the Clearwater. You could continue on down the Clearwater. Nice float that time of year.

Some Class 2/3 I think on the lower Selway. The Clearwater would be mostly flat that time of year.

The Clark Fork (Western Montana)

There is a nice stretch from Superior downstream. Some tougher water above that through Alberton Gorge.

The Lower Kootenai River

Don’t know much about the lower stretch but lots of folks do it and like it. The upper is Class4/5. I don’t go there.

That should get you going. Email me if you need more info. I could hook you up with a real canoist if you want.

Have fun.


Hayden Idaho

sandpoint, idaho
i’ve been wanting to visit n.idaho for some fly fishing and canoeing. i know about priest lake. but, are there places to paddle and camp on lake pend oreille?

LOL… OK… couple quick comments…

– Last Updated: May-31-04 5:31 PM EST –

Idaho is a big state... where were you looking?? North? South East?? South West??? I'm not sure where you're from, but Idaho Class II and Class III is not "slow water" as you request and in many cases the Class III are advanced runs. Are you day trippng with no loads or looking to camp from the boats as well??? Are you talking about outfitted solo boats with airbags or a tandem tripper??? It'll make a big difference...

Feel free to e-mail my link, I'm sure we can provide a couple nice options.

Pend Oreille is my favorite lake
to paddle the sea kayaks on. Canoeing may be a bit of a chore as the lake is very large and becomes an inland oceon when the wind kicks up. Best bet for a canoe would be the delta where the Clark Fork River empties into the lake. A few camp spots up that way. Do watch the weather though as I am serious about the hazards of wind. Stories circulate frequently about unprepared boaters of all kinds. I even have my hands full in a 25’ sailboat at times. A nicer trip for paddlers is the Upper Priest lake. Still need to watch the weather though.

Best Regards


Idaho canoeing
Go to or wherever you buy your books and purchase the Guide to Idaho Paddling by Daly & Walters. The investment will assure you a fool-proof getaway. I live in Boise and have canoed the Boise, Snake and Payette Rivers in this area. I have also been on the Bear River in southeastern Idaho and Coeur d’Alene Lake. Your problem isn’t going to be finding a place to go – its going to be eliminating the other thousand.

Best of luck!

Chuck Oxley

Hey Chuck…
IF you want a fun run in the next week or two… Salmon Falls Creek south of Twin is flowing!!! We’ve done it twice this year…once at 320cfs and once at 200…both were excellent runs… I just saw that it broke 300 again and is moving back down… Here’s the link to the guage