Best Easy Day Hikes Boise  by Natalie L. Bartley

Best Easy Day Hikes: Boise Guide Book

by Natalie L. Bartley (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Boise  by Natalie L. Bartley
This guide includes concise descriptions and detailed maps for seventeen easy-to-follow hikes in and around Boise, Idaho. Discover a region of diverse scenery and natural splendors- from the forested mountains and the lush river valley to the surrounding high desert of the Snake River plain.

© 2010 Natalie L Bartley/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Boise" Guide Book
Displaying trails 17 of 17.

Displaying trails 1 to 17 of 17.

Views of pyramid-shaped Stack Rock and the alpine slopes of Boise National Forest are constant companions on this hike through desert sagebrush, bunchgrass, and wildflowers. The remoteness of the upland rangeland reminds hikers that the Wild West—where the deer and elk roam—still exists. Though just off the highway, the Burnt Car Draw Trail quickly leads hikers away from the hustle of the road and into wide-open rangeland. The Boise National Forest looms on the horizon throughout the hike. Despite the long and challenging hike, the views of the undeveloped foothills, distant forest, and Treasure Valley far below are worth the effort.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 4.8
Walk through a high-elevation alpine ecosystem along a clear river on one of the few nonmotorized trails in Boise National Forest. Stunning rock outcroppings contrast with the surrounding forest. Smooth boulders in the waterway below the trail create small, steep rapids.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 2.6
For an alpine hike that features wildflowers in summer and colorful foliage in autumn, consider this nature trail in the Boise National Forest, 4 miles beyond the entry to Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. The trail offers a bounty of sensory experiences and magnificent views of the valley and the distant mountain ranges. Start by walking on a portion of the Mores Mountain Interpretive Trail. The trail sends hikers past two boulder-strewn granite outcroppings with wide-open vistas, including Shafer Butte (7,582 feet elevation). The 1.0-mile interpretive loop trail leads through meadows of purple, yellow, white, and red wildflowers; the middle loop trail leads to an overlook. Both connect with the end of the outer loop trail.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
Wildlife thrives in this twenty-four-acre natural area located next to the Boise River just minutes from busy downtown Boise. The wetlands and woods surrounding the trail provide food, shelter, water, and safe nesting areas wildlife need. Several canals in the area form a stream inhabited by fish. The trail segment described here starts at Baggley Park, connects with the Bethine Church River Trail, and then heads west, offering a taste of the pedestrian-only trail. This segment passes through a protected wildlife study area. Named for Bethine Church, widow of former U.S. Senator Frank Church, this trail honors the natural world.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
Ascend to the top of the largest single-formation sand dune in North America. From your elevated status on the dunes, you can view the distant Owyhee Mountains to the south, Flat Iron Butte to the north, Bennett Mountain to the north, and the lakes abutting the dunes. Watch jackrabbits race across open sagebrush desert and waterfowl feed in the sparkling lakes below.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.7
This short hike provides a sample of the various trails in this area of the Ridge to Rivers Trail System. The Corrals Trail is shared with ranchers with grazing rights. This part of the trail system passes through a mixture of public and private land. During spring, summer, and autumn, wildflowers bloom along the trail among the bitterbrush and sagebrush. Springtime brings out the pink filaree creeper. In summer look for the yellow arrowleaf balsamroot, a member of the sunflower family. The steepest part of the hike is directly off the Miller Gulch trailhead parking area. Traverse the hillside, moving from 3,281 feet elevation to the plateau at 3,599 feet. Arriving at the saddle, the scenery opens up to include the Treasure Valley, with the Owyhee Mountains to the south, and the high peak of Shafer Butte in the Boise National Forest to the north. The remainder of the hike along the ridge encompasses broad views of the Boise Front and the capital city below.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.8
Located on the Pacific Flyway bird migratory path, the refuge on the shore of Lake Lowell near Nampa is a designated Watchable Wildlife site famous for its bird-watching opportunities. Views of the mountains in the Boise National Forest are to the north; the distant Owyhee Mountains are visible to the south. Grab a trail pamphlet from the visitor center for your own self-guided nature tour.
Nampa, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.6
Enjoy a short hike on a nature trail just off the Garden City Greenbelt Pathway, followed by a stroll along the Boise River. Trailside interpretive signs describe the insects and wildlife inhabiting the wetland environment, setting the tone for exploring other parts of the Greenbelt. Start the hike at the streamflow-gaging station near the bridge and head downstream on the south side of the river on the Garden City Greenbelt Pathway. The trail immediately goes through a tunnel under the bridge. View the murals of whitewater rafters, a trout, and a bicyclist painted on the underpass wall.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
Enjoy a peaceful walk along the Boise River’s north bank next to beautiful residential homes on this pedestrian-only trail. Mature cottonwoods and silver maples provide shade in summer and colorful foliage in autumn. Prolific birdlife adds harmonious songs to the rush of the river water. Designated for foot traffic only, this trail offers a peaceful, leisurely atmosphere. The trail starts at a stocked fishing pond, so if you have a license, you can add fishing to your outing. Casting a line into the Boise River is another option. The tall trees above and the undercover below teem with birdlife. Yellow warblers, red-winged blackbirds, and mourning doves serenade walkers. Bald eagles nest in the area during winter.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Located in a secluded valley near the community of Hidden Springs, this trail offers a quick, steep hike in the Dry Creek drainage. A short ascent opens to views of Boise National Forest and the growing residential development. After briefly paralleling the road, the trail switchbacks up the hillside and opens onto a saddle. The trail swings in a 360-degree turn around a knob, affording panoramic views of Hidden Springs to the south. A farmstead, built in the 1860s, sits in the woods along Dry Creek. One of the oldest intact farmhouses in Idaho, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 1.1
Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail passes through two types of distinct habitats. Sagebrush grasslands are part of the Great Basin desert that lines the hillsides; maples, birches, and syringa grow along the creek bottom in the riparian zone. Rock outcroppings and a waterfall are but a few of the highlights on this trail. Interpretive signs provide information regarding the area’s wildlife, geology, plants, and fire ecology.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.9-7
This short greenbelt offers variety. During the irrigation season, typically April through September, the creek along the trail glitters in the sunshine and expands activity options to include fishing, tubing, canoeing, and kayaking. After a jaunt on the trail, you can readily access a restaurant for a quick bite to eat. Kuna (pronounced Q-nuh) is a small rural town of approximately 14,000 residents. The town was originally a stagecoach stop on the route between Boise and mining towns in the Owyhee Mountains. Head to the Indian Creek Greenbelt to admire the sparkling creek when it runs during irrigation season or to partake in other recreation activities available year-round. You can combine a hike with fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
Nampa, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
A combination of vast views of the lush river valley, basalt cliffs, and history make this trail a must-do. Learn about the Oregon Trail while hiking near intact ruts left by the original wagon trains. Both the Kelton Ramp and this section of the Oregon Trail in the reserve are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Travel beside the famous main route of the Oregon Trail on the reserve’s Oregon and Rim Trails. This site is part of the 2,170-mile-long Oregon National Historic Trail. View the original wagon train ruts on the protected area beside the hiking trails. Three overlooks on the edge of the basalt cliffs on the Rim Trail provide unobstructed views of the lush Boise River valley below, and informative trail signs describe the area’s history.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.7
Gently traverse sagebrush-covered hillsides and walk on high ridges offering views of Boise National Forest and the Treasure Valley below. Although near Boise, this hike provides a feeling of remoteness.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6.2
Located along the North Channel of the Boise River, the trail meanders alongside the waterway, which runs year-round. Stroll among ancient cottonwood trees, with glimpses of Boise National Forest to the north. For a taste of the trails in the Eagle Pathways system along the Boise River, try this shaded walk. The following description covers a hike west of the park trailhead along the north side of the North Channel of the Boise River, with options to continue west, east, or south on the trail system. The majority of this hike moves along the river and past ponds. Enjoy bird watching and fishing along the way.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 1.4
An uphill climb, starting from behind the Old Idaho State Penitentiary, traverses to the top of Table Rock’s sandstone cliffs for a sweeping view of the Treasure Valley. Trailside interpretive signs describe the impact of various geological events on the vistas. This well-used trail combines history and geology, rewarding hikers with one of the best locations for viewing the valley. Table Rock is a Boise icon and a favorite site for entertaining visitors. Start the hike in the busy trailhead parking lot behind the Bishop’s House. Other trails in the area join the following route. Traverse upwards, passing near homes and along singletrack and doubletrack trails. Interpretive signs at a vista point describe the geological basis of the area.
Boise, ID - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.3
For a refreshing hike on a hot summer afternoon, try this short hike near downtown Boise. The major portion of the trail travels beside various bodies of water, offering fishing, wildlife viewing, and swimming opportunities. For water lovers, this trail is a real treat. Travel between the Boise Cascade Lake shoreline and the banks of canals and the Boise River. The hike starts in Veterans Memorial Park and connects with a portion of the 22.5-mile Boise River Greenbelt. Currently the 200-acre park is maintained by the City of Boise. The north side of the lake is populated with shady trees and active wildlife, including squirrels and riparian zone birds. Hatchery-raised rainbow trout splash in the cool green waters of the lake, stocked regularly by the Idaho Fish and Game Department.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.3
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