Just outside of town Clay Peak offers a great time for off-road enthusiasts. The Motorcross track is over 2 miles long with a 600 foot start hill, and with a twisted S turn on top of the hill. The track uses the best of natural terrain with man-made doubles, multiple tabletops, and challenging sweepers. Don’t let the washboards take you out of the run, make it past Hannah Hill, and the glory of the finish line jump is yours!
The river is named for François, who is also the name-sake of the city of Payette.
Due to the wide range in elevation, the Payette River has a variety of fish and fish habitats. Salmon and steelhead were eliminated in the drainage by Black Canyon Dam, which was first completed in 1924. From its mouth upstream to Black Canyon Dam, the river supports a mixed fishery for coldwater and warm water species. Mountain whitefish make up the bulk of game fish in this section of river, with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, rainbow trout, and brown trout making significant contributions. Upstream from Black Canyon Dam, the gradient of the river increases with coldwater species increasing in abundance.
The Payette River is famous for its whitewater. Kayaking on the lower North Fork from Smith's Ferry to Banks is world-class, easily viewed from state Highway 55, which closely hugs its bank, primarily on the west side. The lower North Fork narrows and drops 1,700 feet in the 16 miles above Banks, providing nearly endless Class V rapids. There are a number of local rafting and kayak companies available for day and overnight trips down this majestic waterway. Whether you like rafting, fishing, or just love the beauty of nature you will find the Payette River to be a true local gem.
Lake Cascade (Cascade Reservoir)
Cascade Reservoir is so huge (17 miles long by 4 miles wide) that it is said canoe and kayak paddlers have to be cautious about getting stuck in the middle of the lake in a big wind or even worse: big-time waves and heavy chop. There are a number of campgrounds and 7 boat ramps to take your bigger toys out on the water. Fish species range from rainbow trout and coho salmon, warm water species of smallmouth bass, bullhead catfish, tiger musky, channel catfish, crappie, and most especially perch. Lake Cascade is one of southwestern Idaho's most popular boating and fishing spots for locals and visitors alike. Recreational development near the lake makes Lake Cascade an ideal place for the whole family.
Hells Canyon is North America's deepest river gorge, encompassing a vast and remote region with dramatic changes in elevation, climate and terrain. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1975 to preserve the free flowing character of the Snake River and to protect archaeological, recreational and ecological treasures. It covers 652,488 acres, including some of the most rugged and spectacular wilderness area on earth. Carved by the great Snake River, Hells Canyon plunges more than a mile below Oregon's west rim, and 8,000 feet below snowcapped “He Devil Peak” of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains. There are no roads across Hells Canyon's 10-mile wide expanse, and only three roads that lead to the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and the Oregon-Washington boundary. One of the most popular ways to see the canyon is to take a trip along the river in a jet-boat which can be chartered from a local outfitter.