Where to rent gear, where to paddle the Snake
The mercury is rising quickly this week, with temperatures forecast to reach into the 80s by Thursday, so it should be a great time to consider a paddling trip on the Snake River in Southern Idaho.
Rental vendors on the Snake River are seeing an uptick in activity as more people are coming in to rent kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards (SUPs) to head out for a fun paddling outing. All of the rental vendors provide very affordable prices for watercraft, with prices ranging from $20 to $45 for kayaks, canoes or Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP).
“It’s picking up a lot,” says Paul Melni of AWOL Adventure Sports, the new concessionaire at Centennial Park next to the Snake River in Twin Falls.
The best rental options are at Centennial Park in Twin Falls, Idaho Water Sports in Burley, Idaho Guide Service in Twin Falls, and Hagerman Valley Sports and Merc in Hagerman.
The cool thing about renting watercraft from AWOL Adventure Sports at Centennial Park is it’s very handy. Just show up, rent your gear, and go! Idaho Guide Service will meet you at Centennial Park with rental gear or they can take you on a guided paddling or whitewater adventure, including lunch.
The most popular trips on the Snake are to paddle from Centennial Park upstream to Pillar Falls, a 2-miile journey that takes about three hours out and back. You also can portage around Pillar Falls and continue upstream to Shoshone Falls (3.8 miles from the park). It’s good to allow 5-6 hours for this adventure.
Be aware that river flows are expected to increase in late May to about 2,500 cubic feet per second, so that will make the portage a little more difficult, but still very doable.
In Burley, rent your gear at Idaho Water Sports and then go paddling on the Snake River near Burley or Heyburn on the Snake River. Idaho Water Sports will set up a river-side rental venue next to the Snake River in Heyburn in late May or early June.
In Hagerman, you can rent kayaks SUPs at Hagerman Valley Sports and Mercantile, and go paddling on the Snake River in Hagerman, do loops around Ritter Island at Thousand Springs State Park or paddle Billingsley Creek, which also is part of Thousand Springs State Park.
Enjoy your paddling adventure and remember to bring some extra layers and a windbreaker or rain coat in case the weather changes, plenty of water and snacks.