It used to be that you could bring your deflated raft to Barber Park before floating the river. It was convenient because you needed the extra room in your car for the third or fourth person who would float with you. Once you got to the park, you could use the air stations to inflate your raft, and off you'd go. You may have to wait for one of the air stations to open up, but you aren't on a schedule, so it wasn't a big deal.

In 2020, Ada County turned those air stations off to run the park more efficiently. More people were floating the river, and the park was understaffed.

Without the air stations, there were no lines, and while there were many complaints, there wasn't a pileup of people standing on the beach waiting for air for close to an hour. That's why during the latest renovations to Barker Park, the air stations were removed entirely.

If you're planning to float the river this season, bring waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses, drinks, and your floating device that has already been inflated. Otherwise, you may be making a frustrating drive to buy your own air compressor.

Having your own air compressor is even better because you can ensure that your raft is completely inflated when you arrive. You can even help the people who didn't realize that they wouldn't be able to use the park's air stations.

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