Searching for great trails? Boise has exactly what you’re searching for. With such easy access to the great outdoors, it’s no wonder the city is one of the fastest-growing in the nation. Hikers, bikers and those simply out to enjoy the day from all over the Gem State flock to the foothills and mountains surrounding Boise to experience the various elevations and trails that exist there. There’s certainly something for every type of outdoor-lover and every hiking/biking level to be found near Boise.
In the summer, Boise can get very hot! Many of the scenic trails will leave you exposed to direct sunlight and the elements. Remember to prepare accordingly by making sure to bring enough water, high-energy snacks, and sun protection. Avoiding heat stroke and exhaustion is key when hiking some of the longer trails. The ideal season to go hiking/exploring while in Boise is most definitely the fall. Not only is this season’s weather a lot cooler, most trails will be significantly less busy, and you might get a glimpse of Idaho’s spectacular fall foliage.
The sky’s the limit for finding a hike or trail you’ll love around Boise! Here are some of the best trails to hike in the area.
You can’t miss this classic trail when visiting Boise. It’s known to be one of the most popular trails among the locals for a few reasons. Table Rock’s trail is an ideal length of 3.2 miles, the trailhead is easy to access, and the view of downtown Boise from the top is gorgeous! Your goal very well may be to make it to the white cross that's at the top.
There are many trails that branch off from the main trail, so you have some options should you choose to explore. Because the hike is so popular, there are known to be big crowds that venture up to Table Rock in the summer, so plan on going in the fall when it’s much less busy. It’s free to park in the dirt parking lot, there are restroom facilities available, and the trail is dog-friendly. If you happen to spot any trash on the trail, there are trash cans you’ll notice when you reach the top so that you can dispose of any litter. Head around the backside of Table Rock and you’ll discover the Table Rock Quarry Trail. It offers some other great views of the city as you descend the path.
About half an hour away from Boise and 13 miles up Bogus Basin Road, you’ll arrive at a gravel pull-off to your left and find the Stack Rock trailhead. Make sure you bring a map or someone who has been on this trail before, as the trail breaks off into other smaller trails and it can be easy to get turned around in the forest. You’ll quickly fall in love with this intermediate trail as you trek past the beautiful pine trees and wander through the colorful fields of wildflowers. The trail goes on for about 4 miles until you reach Stack Rock.
This is a great location to check out the grand 360-degree scenic views of Horseshoe Bend and the Treasure Valley once at the top. You’ll very way may feel like you’re braving the wilderness on this trail without even being that far from the city. This hike is not particularly strenuous and is a great day trel if you’re looking for a longer trail to blaze. Out and back, Stack Rock trail clocks in at 9 miles in total and is mostly flat, so grab your gear and set out on this adventurous trail!
Dry Creek Trail
Located in the foothills of Boise, this trail is a favorite among the locals due to its stunning fall foliage. Despite its name, Dry Creek trail isn’t all that dry in comparison to many of the other trails in the foothills. The creek flowing through the area year-round gives life to many different types of vegetation growing there, such as willows and elderberry. The trail is also a popular destination for spotting wildlife like turkey and deer, though be careful to avoid the rattlesnakes that frequent the area in the warmer months!
You have the option to trek the whole 7.3 miles (one-way) up through Shingle Creek trail, but many hikers choose to turn around once the lower Dry Creek trail ends. The creek provides visitors with a cool respite from the intense heat of the summer months. Bikers enjoy this trail as well, so be sure to be on your guard just to be safe. Once you enter the lush, shady forest of evergreens, you’ll be glad you made the decision to trek this scenic trail.
Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail
This seven-mile trail (there and back) offers picturesque views all throughout the trail. It follows a creek high into the foothills of Boise and takes about three hours to complete. The trail is riddled with helpful signs that even include poetry to help you along your way and get you appreciating the scenery around you more. Once you reach the top of the trail, there is a small waterfall that you’ll find depending on the season. It’s the ideal off-the-beaten-path trail for adventurers seeking a little peace and quiet away from the city.
Hike to Your Heart’s Content
What are you waiting for? Boise has so many more trails than just these few, so it’s about time you grab your pack and choose a trail to explore! With trails as scenic and peaceful as these, you’ll want to spend a lot of time in nature discovering other trails, taking in the impressive views, and de-stressing from your work week. Boise serves as your gateway to the outdoors, so you’ll have a blast getting to know the landscape and will soon understand for yourself what the locals have been raving about.