Explore the South Fork of the Boise River

South Fork of the Boise River, Elmore County, Idaho, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Rafting, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

The South Fork of the Boise River is located in close proximity to Boise and is highlighted by massive basalt cliffs and unique waterfalls.

In just over an hour, you can leave downtown Boise and arrive above Arrowrock Reservoir in a location so unique that you won't believe you're still in Idaho. The South Fork of the Boise River provides excitement for campers, wildlife lovers, and outdoor goers. Although I just visited for the first time, it certainly won't be my last.

To get to this particular spot, drive east on Hwy. 84 for about 8 miles before taking the Blacks Creek Rd. exit. After one left turn, the road will turn to dirt and only about 16 miles will separate you from the river. While you get nearer, keep a close eye out for Bald Eagles. We saw six eagles and a few nests on our way in.

Fire rings for campers can be found on off-roads all of the way up the canyon. A 4WD vehicle is recommended for these off-road situations as well as the steep and potentially muddy road. River accessibility is tricky because of the enormous lichen-rich basalt canyons, so the best fishing opportunity will be around Neal Bridge.

Large waterfalls can be found further upstream, some streaming all of the way down over the 200+ ft. cliffs. The huge canyons and waterfalls, coupled with wide meadows, emit some subtle Ireland vibes.

Whether it's for an evening bonfire, a morning sunrise hike (extremely recommended), or a camping trip with your buddies, go check this place out. You can only see it to believe it.

Pack List

Don't forget to bring:

  • Tent, sleeping bag and pad if you plan on camping
  • Comfortable pair of hiking boots
  • Fishing pole (don't forget to read rules and regulations of Idaho rivers)
  • WARM clothes for cold nights
  • 4WD car for sticky situations
  • A camera, of course
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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This was the first trip that I took in Idaho. My girlfriend and I are from Arizona and wanted to experience something different. We loved this drive and got some amazing photo content!

4 months ago
4 months ago

From the first moment you step out of your vehicle overlooking the river, you find the most peaceful sound of a light breeze and slowly running water! The views were absolutely spectacular and with multiple little trails around to wander, it is a blast and a must for anyone looking for a relaxing morning with beautiful views close to Boise!

7 months ago
7 months ago

I doubt I would have found this area on my own so wanted to say thanks for adding this! Beautiful area with tons of hiking trails, beautiful views and camping spots. I can't wait to go back and camp for a weekend here.

12 months ago
12 months ago

I am an student outdoor leader for the Boise State Outdoor Program and we recently just made a weekend trip there for our program. We took our bikes up near Atlanta where we got dropped off and took the Middle Fork of the Boise River Road (which is a forest service dirt road) all the way down to Arrowrock Reservoir, a total of 55 miles that took us about one and a half days at a very leisurely and laid-back pace. The scenery is beautiful and you also have to check out Lofus Hot springs, we camped right next to it and were able to relax our muscles. The road was very well maintained when we visited in early October and it is very mellow as far as hills go! Definitely a great weekend trip to do something you might not normally do! Get on your bike and just go!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Dusty Klein Explorer

Oregon born, Idaho forged. Dusty is a weekend-warrior turned freelance photographer with a passion and respect for the mountains. @dustykleiner

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