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Cascade Raft and Kayak-the first and largest raft company on the Payette River-invites you to experience Idaho river rafting at its best. Located one hour north of Boise in the pristine Boise National Forest, we offer a rare combination of spectacular scenery and amazing whitewater. Whether you want a wild ride or cool float, we have the perfect western adventure, even for the time-pressed traveler.

  • The Longs
  • FAQ's
  • Charitable Giving

The Long Family and Staff

Our acclaimed whitewater company attracts the cream of the crop in staff from around the world. Each department is dedicated to providing the highest quality rewarding river experience for all of our guests on the Payette River. Our staff specializes in personalized service and unforgettable, safe, outdoor experiences. From your first contact to your last good-bye, our goal is to help you relax and enjoy.

Cascade Raft and Kayak is proudly owned and operated by the Long family. After years of whitewater adventuring together, this family loves it more than ever. You’ll feel the pampering and professionalism come through in all the details of your trip, thanks to Tom and Debbi’s decades of hospitality experience. Their sons Kenneth, Chad, and Tren-and their wives, Anne, Krista, and Linzie-all are avid whitewater enthusiasts who add youthful exuberance and contagious passion for river-adventure fun.

What makes Cascade Raft and Kayak special?
Our private riverside facility is complete with a café, gift shop, riverside deck and patio, changing rooms, no-fee parking lot, and in-house professional photography department. Our outdoor adventure staff is highly trained, enthusiastic, and downright fun to be with.

What sets the kayak school apart?
Our 3 to 1 instructor ratio ensures individual success, we teach a proven progression, and safety is of primary importance.

How far away are you from Boise?
Our riverside center is less than one hour from the airport. Park your vehicle and we will provide the shuttle to the put- in.

How do I make a reservation?
Reserve on-line through our secure website or give us a call (1-800-292-7238) and our friendly reservations staff will assist you. Payment is required at the time of the reservation to guarantee your spaces. We accept all major credit cards as well as checks.

What are the age requirements for rafting?
On the Main Payette or North Fork Cabarton, we can take children as young as 5 as long as they are comfortable with the water. For the full and half day South Fork trips (class III-IV), everyone must be at least 12 years old, active, and in good health.

What should we wear?
Clothes you don’t mind getting wet – swimsuit, nylon shorts, t-shirt, and river sandals or tennis shoes you can get wet. Except in the heat of summer, it is best to avoid wearing cotton clothing. For trips with cold water or in cooler weather, we provide wetsuits and other insulating gear at no additional cost. We have changing rooms and rest rooms at our river center, so don't forget a change of clothes for after the trip.

What should we bring?
It is usually wise to bring sunscreen and water, a hat, and perhaps a towel. If you plan to wear glasses or sunglasses, we recommend a strap to keep them on. We offer Chums glasses retainers as well as disposable waterproof cameras for sale in our gift shop. Anything you take with you is likely to get wet, so plan appropriately. At no time can we take glass containers or alcohol on the river.

Do you have wetsuits?
All necessary equipment is included with our trips. Depending on the weather and water temperatures, we provide wetsuits, wetsuit booties, and splash jackets or thermal jackets at no additional cost.

What training do your guides have?
All of our guides are licensed by the State of Idaho. These standards require guiding proficiency, first aid and CPR training, and a background check, among others. At Cascade Raft & Kayak, we also require river rescue and safety training and ongoing guiding training and practice. Most of our staff far exceed these standards with years of river experience, and advanced first aid training.

What kinds of rafts do you use?
Our fleet of self-bailing AIRE and Maravia rafts are top-of-the-line. (And they are produced in the Treasure Valley!) We run guided paddle rafts--a guide in each raft and all participants assisting in paddling. The self-bailing floor lets water in and out, so your feet will definitely be getting wet. Our rafts range from 13-15 feet in length and hold from 6 to 9 paddlers in addition to the guide.

Do I have to paddle?
Yes and no. On the full and half day South Fork trips (class IV whitewater) everyone will need to paddle to safely maneuver the raft in the more difficult rapids. For the North Fork Cabarton and Main Payette trips, it is not necessary that everyone paddle. While the guide will need the assistance of most participants, those unable to paddle, such as younger children, are welcome to ride along or participate as they are able.

What if it is raining on the day of my trip?
We run our trips, rain or shine. Showers are unusual during the Idaho summer and they are typically isolated and pass very quickly. For this reason we do not make advance changes for weather to our scheduled departures. We will provide all the equipment necessary for your comfort on the water (wetsuits, splash jackets, etc). Hey, you are going to be getting wet anyway!

Do I need any kayaking experience to sign up for the Introduction to Whitewater class?
Nope. In each of our introduction classes we often have people who have never been in a kayak before as well as those who might have tried kayaking in the pool, inflatable kayaking on the river, or even done some hardshell kayaking. A roll is not necessary. Our 3-1 student to instructor ratio ensures that we can accommodate a variety of skill levels while keeping everyone safe and challenged.

About our Charitable Giving:
Cascade Raft & Kayak is committed to giving back to our community. Each year we make in-kind contributions of approximately 1000 gift certificates for rafting trips on the Payette River. Our largest community outreach to the youth of Southwest Idaho is the Police Raft Along program--in excess of 750 participants annually.

Rafting is popular! We receive a flood of requests for donations every season and strive to fulfill as many as possible, focusing on benefitting local youth groups. If you are involved in a school or youth organization and would like to request a donation, please email the specifics of your request/event to: donations@cascaderaft.com

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