World-Class Idaho Kayaking Event Continues, But High Water Makes It More Extreme

Jun 16, 2017

The North Fork Championship is one of the biggest kayak competitions in the country, and will culminate this weekend with a race for some of the most elite boaters in the world.

Thrill-seekers say the river bottom of the North Fork of the Payette River – filled with jagged rocks that were blasted out to build the adjacent Highway 55 – make for a treacherous and unique kayaking experience. The highlight is the elite race Saturday afternoon down a rapid known as Jacob’s Ladder.

And, the exceptional snowfall this winter has made the North Fork even more dangerous. According to KTVB-TV, some amateur kayakers have decided to skip the event this year because of the conditions, leaving the competition to professional racers. Organizers say unlike in previous years they’re doing what they can to make the event as safe as possible.

This is the sixth year the North Fork Championship has taken place in Banks, one hour outside of Boise.

Check out this promo video for the event, which gives a sense for how dramatic the event is.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio