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Top 5 Places to Paddle Board in Idaho

paddle boarding in idaho 1

Imagine gliding across the crystal-clear waters of a serene lake, surrounded by picturesque landscapes. Paddleboarding offers this dreamy experience, and if you’re lucky enough to be in Idaho, you’ve hit the jackpot! With its myriad of beautiful lakes and rivers, Idaho is a paddleboarder’s paradise. But where should you start? Let’s dive in!

Why Choose Idaho?

For those who love the great outdoors, Idaho is a hidden gem. Its diverse terrains, from mountainous regions to beautiful lakes, make it the perfect place to paddleboard. Think of Idaho as a massive playground for water enthusiasts; it’s like Disneyland but for paddleboarders!

Pre-Paddle Prep

Before diving into the best spots, let’s ensure you’re prepared. Firstly, if you’re new to paddleboarding, check out these 10 essential tips for beginners. Furthermore, ensure you understand the US Coast Guard rules for stand-up paddleboarding. Safety first!

1. Coeur d’Alene Lake

Starting our list is the breathtaking Coeur d’Alene Lake. With its vast expanse and magnificent surroundings, it’s no wonder this is a top spot for paddleboarding enthusiasts. The tranquil waters are perfect for beginners, while the expansive lake provides endless exploration possibilities.

2. Payette Lake

Located in McCall, Payette Lake offers 5,330 acres of paddleboarding fun. The lake is surrounded by thick forests and mountains, making it a visual treat. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife during your adventure!

3. Redfish Lake

Redfish Lake, with its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrop, is a must-visit. The lake gets its name from the brilliant sockeye salmon, which once returned from the Pacific in large numbers. Today, it’s a peaceful spot perfect for a day of paddling.

4. Boise River

For those who prefer rivers to lakes, the Boise River is your go-to. Paddleboarding here offers a unique experience, as you navigate through gentle currents and enjoy the city’s beauty from a different perspective.

5. Priest Lake

Tucked away in the northern part of Idaho, Priest Lake is a serene and less crowded alternative. The water is calm, and the surroundings are untouched. It’s like paddleboarding in a postcard!

US Coast Guard Rules

While paddleboarding is fun, it’s vital to know the rules set by the US Coast Guard. This ensures safety not just for you but for everyone on the water.

Tips for Beginners

Starting out? Don’t fret! Here are some useful tips to make your paddleboarding experience smooth and enjoyable.

Finding Nearby Paddle Spots

If you’re looking to explore more locations, this tool will show you where to paddleboard near you. Adventure awaits!

Choosing the Right Board

Your paddleboarding experience is only as good as your board. Check out these inflatable boards that are both durable and convenient.


Idaho offers a plethora of paddleboarding spots, each unique in its own right. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s something here for everyone. So, grab your board, hit the waters, and enjoy the beauty of Idaho!


  1. Is paddleboarding difficult for beginners?
    • No, paddleboarding is relatively easy to pick up. With the right board and some basic tips, beginners can have a great time on the water.
  2. Do I need any special equipment to paddleboard in Idaho?
    • Apart from a paddleboard, you’ll need a paddle, a leash and a life jacket.
  3. How do I maintain my paddleboard?
    • Regularly check for dents or punctures. After use, rinse your board with freshwater and store it away from direct sunlight.
  4. Are there any restrictions for paddleboarding in Idaho?
    • Some areas may have restrictions, especially during peak seasons. Always check local regulations before heading out.
  5. Is it safe to paddleboard alone?
    • While paddleboarding is generally safe, it’s always recommended to have a buddy with you, especially in unfamiliar areas.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.