Water Sports on the Snake River in Twin Falls, ID
When Kae Cameron smells the Russian olive trees in bloom, she knows summer has arrived – time for waterskiing the Snake River.
The executive director of the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce says she waterskied basically every summer day back in college, and it is still one of her favorite pastimes now that she is married with a family.
“The Snake River has always been my favorite place for outdoor fun,” Cameron says. “There are enough calm, smooth, ideal spots for waterskiing, with the prime season being June through August. And with the technology of wetsuits, I’m seeing more people on the river as early as May and as late as September and October. River recreation is one of my favorite parts of living in Southern Idaho.”
Cameron says wakeboarding, jet skiing, canoeing and kayaking also continue to grow in popularity for those seeking water sports on the Snake.
“Fishing is another big attraction, with bass fishing tournaments most weekends throughout the summer,” she says. “There are good catches of smallmouth bass as well as catfish, trout and carp. People even ice fish upriver at Lake Walcott during the winter months.”
The 13th largest river in the United States, the Snake River flows through six Pacific Northwest states, with the largest portion in Idaho. The river is critical to the multi-billion-dollar agricultural industry here, but it also creates a steady stream of customers for other local businesses, too.
“We sell fun and are fortunate to be located only five minutes from the Snake,” says Carol Warr, a long-time resident and business manager for Idaho Water Sports in Nampa. “Our company sells power boats, waterski equipment, wakeboard equipment and five different kinds of kayaks, and I personally like kayaking the best. I often start at the Perrine Bridge and kayak far upriver because people can’t take power boats up there. It’s so quiet -- I often see fish jump.”
Warr says a newer activity on the Snake River that has become popular over the past year is riding standup paddleboards.
“Women especially like them, with groups of women often paddling together for exercise because it’s a low-impact workout,” Warr says. “You stand on an 11-foot-long board and paddle along, going upriver and downriver without a lot of work involved. In fact, early-morning summer classes have popped up specifically to introduce people to standup paddleboarding.”
Warr adds that Idaho Water Sports also arranges for professionals to provide instructional clinics on waterskiing and wakeboarding. The company also schedules several “demo days” that allow the community to try out kayaks, wakeboards, waterskis and standup paddleboards, and hosts an annual wakeboard competition, Wake in the Snake, for people of all ages and skill levels.
“Southern Idaho is lucky to have a gem like the Snake River, with its waterfalls, canyon vistas, sport fishing, and water for agriculture," Warr says.
Read more on outdoor fun in Twin Falls, ID.