- Offering a wide variety of habitats and rapids, the Payette River has something for everyone.
- The Payette is easily accessible for both fishing and/or rafting.
- The South Fork of the Payette River supports excellent populations of wild rainbow trout.
The Payette River is one of Southwestern Idaho's most popular rivers for fishing, kayaking, and rafting. Offering a wide variety of habitats and rapids, the Payette has something for everyone.
Location & Information
The Payette River is a 62-mile river in southwestern Idaho, and is a major tributary of the Snake River. As a main tributary to the Snake River, the Payette has 3 major forks; the North fork, South fork, and Main. The South fork consists of class III and IV rapids, while the North fork has 15 miles of continuous class V rapids. The Main part of the Payette begins where the North and South forks meet, about 45 minutes north of Boise in an area called Banks.
Its headwaters originate in the Sawtooth and Salmon River mountains. The South Fork of the Payette has its headwaters in the Sawtooth Wilderness, which is part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. There are few river stretches in the country that can match the South Fork Payette's combination of scenery, whitewater, and solitude.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area: (208) 727-5013
If you are looking to fish the Payette, the wide range in elevation provides a variety of fish and habitats, making fishing this river a wonderful experience. The South Fork of the Payette River supports excellent populations of wild rainbow trout. Alpine lakes within the Payette River drainage are stocked with rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, cutbow (rainbow-cutthroat hybrids), golden trout, and arctic grayling. Brook trout are also present in a number of lakes.
In the heart of the Boise National Forest, the Payette River offers the finest selection of exciting whitewater adventures available anywhere in the country. From family-friendly rafting to the most exciting world-class whitewater, it's all available on the Payette River.