Reminder: Spring flows along the Boise River remain higher than average at around 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). A “Dangerous River Condition” notice is in effect, and everyone is asked to stay out of the water at this time. Typical flows when the river is “open” for the official float season are between 500 and 1,500 cfs. Media covering the new website are encouraged to remind the public that it’s unsafe to recreate on the river at this time.
Floating the Boise River is a popular summer tradition in the City of Trees. Each year, thousands of people visit Barber Park to float the scenic six-mile stretch to the takeout at Ann Morrison Park. To better meet the need for critical safety and river condition information for residents and visitors, Ada County and the City of Boise have joined together to create a single source for official information and updates. Yesterday, Boise City Council received an update on the next phase of the partnership during the council’s work session.
Float the Boise is a multi-agency initiative to encourage residents and visitors to take responsibility for their own safety on the river through a variety of new resources. Combining information and expertise from the Boise Fire Department, Ada County Parks & Waterways and Boise Parks and Recreation, floattheboise.org and corresponding Facebook and Instagram pages will serve as official sources for information from the partnership.
“Whether you’re a first-time floater or an experienced boater, the new Float the Boise website is an essential resource to help prepare for your trip,” said Ada County Parks & Waterways Director Scott Koberg. “The safety checklist along with the real-time river flows and weather forecasts provided on the current conditions page will really help all floaters plan ahead.”
It was estimated that more than 150,000 people floated the Boise River during the official 2022 season, a record high. This increase in use also resulted in an increase in river rescues and calls for service for the Boise Fire Department’s Dive Team. All river floaters are encouraged to use the new Float the Boise website to learn about known hazards on the river and take a guided tour of rapids, bridge locations and other areas they can expect to encounter during their float. In addition, the easy to use interactive map will be updated with new details on potential hazards as they are discovered by the Boise Fire Department and Ada County staff who float the river regularly. This could include in-river trees and branches or other dynamic changes to the river that floaters could encounter.
“While current river conditions remain unsafe, these new tools allow us to act quickly and share updated information with the public during the float season,” said Boise Fire Department Division Chief Paul Roberts. “Arming people with the safety tips and knowledge they need to stay safe will improve outcomes and create a better atmosphere for everyone once they can get on the water, including our first responders.”
The official Float the Boise website also includes a safety checklist, current river condition information, and details on Float the Boise parking, raft and tube rentals and more. Users will notice new signs at Barber and Ann Morrison Park this summer with Float the Boise logos, safety messaging and QR codes that link to the official website.
“Float the Boise establishes a single source for Boise River conditions and safety information,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “We encourage everyone to spend some time browsing the interactive map and guided tour on floattheboise.org before the float season officially opens later this year.”
Despite the forecast of warmer weather, current river flows are still far too high for recreational floating. During a typical Float the Boise season, river flows range between 500 and 1,500 cubic feet per second. Any starting date announcement will come from the official Float the Boise partnership. Until then, users are encouraged to stay out of the Boise River for their own safety.
Float the Boise is managed through a partnership between Ada County Parks & Waterways, Boise Parks and Recreation and Boise Fire. Visit floattheboise.org for official safety information, river condition reports and to use our interactive map.