The Official Beer of Boise Trails

Best Hikes in Boise

Strap up your hiking boots: here’s our list of the best hikes in Boise.

Best Hikes Close to Town
Table Rock (3.2 miles)
Route Map
This is it: the classic Boise hike. Table Rock is the most popular hike in Boise for a few reasons: it’s easy to get to; it’s just the right length for your average occasional hiker; and it leads to an iconic overlook. It’s a fairly steep climb, but the views of downtown from the top make it worth it. If you want to mix it up a little and explore some cool cliffs and boulders, consider looping around the backside of Table Rock and descending the Table Rock Quarry Trail.

Snowy Table Rock

Lower Hulls Gulch (4.4 miles)
Hulls Gulch is a quality hike that allows you to get into nature right from Boise’s backdoor. Beginning at the Foothills Learning Center on 8th Street, Hulls Gulch trail follows a peaceful creek at a mellow grade. The trail is easy to follow and well marked. Eventually you’ll reach a bridge at the end of the Lower Hulls Gulch trail. From here you can turn and head back to your car, or continue on the Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail, described below.

Best Uncrowded Hikes

Five Mile Gulch (7 miles)
Five Mile Gulch is a scenic, peaceful gulch off of Rocky Canyon Road that usually has less traffic than the closer-to-town hikes. The lower portion (1.4 miles one way) follows a creek at a mellow grade. After crossing the creek a few times, it reaches a well-marked fork. If you continue up Five Mile Gulch trail from here, it will be a steep grunt for another 1.5 miles until you top out on the Ridge Road. The whole hike offers great views and lots of solitude.

Five Mile Gulch

Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail (7 miles)
The Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail serves up a big dose of nature and serenity without a long drive from town. Starting from the Lower Hulls Gulch trailhead on the unpaved 8th Street Extension, the singletrack leads down into the canyon and follows the creek high into the upper foothills. This trail is open only to foot traffic, so you don’t even have to keep an eye out for bikes.

Seclusion and singletrack on the Hulls Gulch Interpretive trail

Best Kid Hikes

Castle Rock (2 miles)
The Castle Rock loop (aka Shoshone-Bannock tribes loop) is a nice short hike for kids. Beginning at the Old Penitentiary off Warm Springs Road, it’s a quick, punchy climb up to a cool overlook. The kids will enjoy climbing on the rocks. It’s a good singletrack alternative to the more crowded and popular Table Rock trail.

Elephant Rock (.5 miles)
Elephant Rock is a great kid hike because it’s not too steep, not too long, and it leads to a specific destination: a unique, rounded sandstone boulder that resembles an elephant. Kids, dogs, and adult who act like kids or dogs will all enjoy scaling the rock. If you want to extend this short loop, add part of Cottonwood Creek–the kids will enjoy splashing in the creek or hopping across rocks.

Best Longer Hikes

Dry Creek Trail (up to 14 miles)
Dry Creek trail is a godsend during the hot summer months. Don’t be fooled by the name–this trail is anything but dry! Although the trail begins hugging the hillsides of a rugged, sandy canyon, eventually it ascends into shaded forests. The numerous creek crossings provide ample opportunities to dunk your head and cool off. Serious hikers may climb the whole thing (7.3 miles and about 2,000 feet), and possibly loop it with Shingle Creek, but many hikers just do an out-and-back on lower Dry Creek.

Lower Dry Creek

Stack Rock Trail (9 miles)

The Stack Rock trail is an awesome intermediate-level day hike with lots of shade. Beginning from the trailhead about 12 miles up Bogus Basin Road (look for “Trail Crossing” signs after a big S curve in the road), the Stack Rock trail traverses along the tree line with stunning views of the valley to your south. After about 2.5 miles, the trail reaches a 3-way intersection with the Sweet Connie and Eastside trails. The Freddy’s Stack Rock loop then leads to Stack Rock, an imposing granite tower with amazing 360 degree views of the Treasure Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and beyond. At about 9 miles out and back, this is not a beginner hike, but it’s worth it.

Singletrack on Stack Rock loop

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