The river has an extremely varied difficulty of rapids, ranging from easy Class II to some of the world’s hardest class V. Located just an hour from Boise, this river is a great trip for any level of kayakers. Banks, Idaho is the hub for Payette trips and serves as a take-out for the North and South forks of the river, and a put in for the Main.
The river is named after a French-Canadian trapper named Francois Payette. Payette was a mountain man from near Montreal, Canada. He lived off of trapping in the Payette River Basin. More sections of this river began to be paddled in the late ’60s. The Payette flows for about 73 miles before joining the Snake River on the Oregon Border.
“The Main“ section of the Payette is a classic beginner/intermediate section and is probably one of the most popular sections of river in Idaho. The Payette flows through Boise national forest. “The Main“ is 7 miles in full and takes roughly 3 hours to run. “The Main“ has many great surf waves and big bouncy drops to keep boaters excited. It is runnable most of the year but can become larger volume in June and July.
The North Fork Payette is best known for its challenging whitewater and the North Fork Championship. This section of the championship, known as Jacob’s Ladder, houses some of the most intense features in the world. The championship brings together some of the best kayakers in the world, including Mariann Saether, Natalie Anderson, Anna Wagner, Sage Donelly, and Lauren Megaw who have webinars that are for sale on the online store!