6 ways to beat the heat this summer!

With Boise typically having only three seasons: way too damn hot, way too damn cold, and a brief three weeks on either end of winter and summer where the temperature is perfect, it’s important to have a solid list of activities to beat the heat on those hot summer days.

Here’s our This Is Boise Select Six: Best Places to Splash and Cool Off this summer!

picture of people in Boise floating the river

Float The Boise River

An iconic summer activity as distinctly Boiseian as potatoes and bad driving (I’m a native Boiseian, don’t @ me), this is a summer activity everyone around Boise is familiar with. If you haven’t floated the Boise River yet, get your swimsuit, pick out your favorite inflatable animal floatation device from any box store in Boise (my last float was on a giant inflatable unicorn), and get over to Barber Park as soon as the river officially opens! From solo tubers to marauding bands flying the jolly rogers and wielding squirt guns, you’re guaranteed to meet some great people along the way. It’s the perfect way to enjoy one of Boise’s best natural features!

The river isn’t open yet (it usually opens for floating around the first week of July), but you can keep an eye out for opening day details on this Float The Boise River Facebook page.

picture of Roaring Springs

Roaring Springs & Wahooz

Roaring Springs looks like Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein dreamed up a water park, and we’re all about it. They take wacky fun seriously, and both establishments have activities everyone will enjoy, such as towering cliff-drop slides, twisty-turney tunnel slides, relaxing endless rivers, wave pools, and squirt gun paddle boats. Whether you want to just relax and float in the water or make a serious splash, Roaring Springs and Wahooz have you covered. You can buy tickets at the door or on the Roaring Springs and Wahooz websites.

picture of the Natatorium

*Image source: Susan Graham

Boise Community Pools

Sometimes you just need to put on a swimsuit, grab your trusty towel (don’t forget to bring a towel!), and head to your neighborhood pool to soak up some sun and do a sick cannonball or five. Boise has a wealth of community pools to help us all beat the heat, with most of them offering diving boards, water slides, kids splash-parks, lounging tubs, and sunbathing chairs. Here’s a short list of some of our favorites, and you can find details about each pool’s hours of operation and location here:

  • Natatorium Pool and Hydrotube – Northeast Boise
  • Ivywild Pool – Southeast Boise
  • Borah Pool – Boise Bench
  • Fairmont Pool – West Boise
  • YMCA – Downtown and West Boise
picture of Quinn's Pond

Bernadine Quinn Riverside Park

Quinn’s pond has gone through many changes, yet remained a Boise favorite for decades. Now fully developed into a recreational area, there is so much this park has to offer for all ages and activities. Kids can splash around in the shallows and cannonball off the dock, adults have sunbathing, swimming, and paddleboarding opportunities on the pond, and there’s an entire park, bbq and party shelter area, art installation, and a wetlands nature boardwalk to enjoy. Visit the City of Boise page for details on park rules, location, and other details.

Picture of Whitewater Waterpark

Boise Whitewater Park

Just down the path from Quinn’s pond, right along the greenbelt, is the Boise Whitewater Park. This is perfect for any watersports enthusiast looking to practice riding waves on kayaks, surfboards, and more. The waveshapers installed in this section of the Boise River create a 20-foot wide primary wave and 25-foot wide secondary wave for “green wave” surfing. Jetties sit to either side of the waveshaper structures, creating eddies for surfers and kayakers to access the whitewater and enter/exit the river. Visit the Boise Whitewater Park website to stay up to date on events and park water conditions.

picture of Lucky Peak

Lucky Peak State Park and Arrowrock Reservoir

Lucky Peak has long been a swimming and boating go-to for many Boise water enthusiasts, and there is good reason for it! Only a 10-minute drive from downtown, or a 30-minute bike ride on the Green Belt (that ride smoked me – I’m not ashamed to say it), the close proximity of this park to Boise, and the incredible activities it offers, are just too good to pass up on a hot summer day. Sandy Point offers a huge water fountain and wide, sandy, sun-soaked beach with a long, shallow extension into the lake, perfect for wading and swimming.

Want something a little more open? Head up the road and to the other side of Lucky Peak damn and visit Spring Shores Marina for all your boating needs. This side of Lucky Peak features a full-service marina, long-term moorage, fuel, and a convenience store – everything you need for a day of boating on the lake! Not going boating? There are dozens of beaches and pullouts along the lake for more secluded water fun like fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, or any other activities.