Since moving to Idaho in 2016, I've spent a great deal of time traveling about in the southern and central portions of the state. I have come to really enjoy spending my time on the water in this great state, and have developed a real connection with certain locations in the Magic Valley and further north.

Southern Idaho is home to a handful of spots I spend a lot of time kayaking at. While many people head to Centennial Park after work or on the weekends, I prefer areas where there aren't dozens of people paddling around me on the water. I like less noise, and the opportunity to tune in to nature when I'm out.

Balanced Rock Park has become a favorite spot of mine, and it's just 30 miles outside Twin Falls. The park's entrance is about one mile (left side of highway) from the Balanced Rock hiking trail, if you're headed there from Twin Falls. The kayaking is exceptional, with a slow moving current and incredible rock formations that line the river on both sides.

Twin Falls Park is probably my second favorite spot to go within a short distance to Twin Falls. It offers several spots to launch a kayak from, has a boat ramp, restrooms and sprawling lawns to picnic on before or afterwards. It also has a small cove that not a lot of people enter, and is a great spot to dunk your head under two small waterfalls and  escape boat wakes.

Thousand Spring State Park, in Hagerman, is also a fantastic place to spend an afternoon in the water. Its got a large lawn area to unload your belongings, a half dozen or so waterfalls to check out, runoff from the area's only underground river and Ritter Island is fun to explore as well. It is a workout if you venture too far from the main launch area, as the current of the Snake River becomes more challenging the further out you go.

Bruneau Dunes State Park has a large body of water located right in the middle of the park, that gives visitors an incredible view of the surrounding dunes. It also has shallow sand bars where you can sit in the water and cool off. You need to take a lot of water with you when heading there, but man is it worth it. The park is only 80 miles southwest of Twin Falls.

Other locations that make my top list of places within 150 miles of Twin Falls to kayak include a couple that you have to navigate over Galena Summit to reach. Alturas Lake and Stanley Lake are places we head every summer for camping, float-tubing and kayaking. They each offer incredible views of the Sawtooth Mountains, particularly Stanley Lake, where McGown Peak looms mightily over the water at close to 10,000 feet.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app