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Go take a hike: Boise area’s 10 best Summer Hikes

There’s no better time than summer to slip on your hiking boots and hit the trails. Boise offers many hikes you can access directly from the city itself. Tons more can be found nearby in Boise National Forest. Here are 10 hikes in or not far from Boise for beginner hikers, experts and everyone in between. They are perfect for warm weather excursions, so grab your friends and get out and enjoy the area’s amazing scenery.

Easy Hikes

Greenbelt 

The Greenbelt is a 25-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that connects downtown Boise with more than 850 acres of parks and natural areas along the Boise River. It’s a scenic, tree-lined path that also links the suburbs with the Lucky Peak State Recreation Area. Learn more here.

Oregon Trail – 2.8 miles, 177 ft. elevation gain
This easy trail takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It’s great for hiking, trail running and walking. It’s open year-round and quite beautiful. Dogs are welcome and can go off-leash in some areas. This trail is about a 20 minute drive from Boise. To access this trailhead, watch for signs off of ID-21 N headed toward Lucky Peak.

Cottonwood Creek Trail (to Toll Road Loop) – 0.9-1.5 miles
This is the perfect summer trail because it’s mostly shaded and tree-covered. It’s a creekside trail that’s popular with hikers and joggers. You can go out and back on Cottonwood Creek Trail or make a loop with Toll Road. This trailhead can be found directly off of Mountain Cove Rd, on the southwestern side of Military Reserve Park in Boise.

River Canyon Trail (East Trailhead to Abandoned Homestead) – 4.3 miles
Located near Melba, Idaho, approximately 1 hour from downtown Boise, this easy trail takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes. It’s primarily used for fishing, hiking and horseback riding. River Canyon Trail is dog-friendly and dogs can go off-leash in some areas. This trailhead is about an hour drive from Boise and runs alongside the Snake River. It can be accessed from S Swan Falls Rd. 

River Canyon Trail (East Trailhead to Abandoned Homestead) – 4.3 miles
Located near Melba, Idaho, approximately 1 hour from downtown Boise, this easy trail takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes. It’s primarily used for fishing, hiking and horseback riding. River Canyon Trail is dog-friendly and dogs can go off-leash in some areas. This trailhead is about an hour drive from Boise and runs alongside the Snake River. It can be accessed from S Swan Falls Rd. 

Medium-level Hikes

Table Rock – 3.4 miles, 994 ft. elevation gain
Table Rock Trail is located in Boise’s East End behind the Old Idaho Penitentiary. It is one of Boise’s most popular trails. With a 994-foot gain in elevation, it’s a steep hike yet still family-friendly, and the view at the top of the trail is well worth it. Give yourself 2-3 hours. Go earlier in the day if it’s hot or around sunset for beautiful views. This trail can be accessed off of the parking lot on E Old Penitentiary Rd in the East End neighborhood

Adelmann Mine – 4.7 miles, 1,322 ft. elevation gain
This trail is a moderately difficult trail that takes about 2 hours and 50 minutes. It’s a popular trail for hiking and snowshoeing. The trail is open year-round, but most locals like to go from April through September. The view from the abandoned mine is breathtaking. Dogs have to be on a leash. This trailhead takes about 25 minutes to drive to from Boise. Keep your eyes out for a small parking lot on the left side of highway ID-21 N past Lucky Peak State Park, but before the Mores Creek Lucky Peak Bridge.

Around the Mountain aka Bogus Basin Loop Trail – 7.1 miles, 1,581 ft. elevation gain
This beloved area trail takes about 3 hours and 56 minutes. It’s great for hiking, walking, trail running and mountain biking. It’s open year-round but most people visit from May to October. Dogs must be on a leash. Approximately a 40 minute drive from Boise, you can access this trailhead from Bogus Basin.

Stack Rock Trail – 8.2 miles, 1,263 ft. elevation gain
A mere 25-minute drive up Bogus Basin Road brings you to the Stack Rock Trailhead. This moderately difficult trail serves up shaded forests of towering pines, sage-covered foothills with panoramic views of the Boise area, and massive boulder outcrops that have been waiting millennia just to see you. Give yourself 4-5 hours for this hike. We recommend you use AllTrails for directions on different parking options, based on how long of a hike you want to do.

Difficult Hikes

Shaw Mountain (Lucky Peak) – 10.4 miles, 2,545 ft. elevation gain
This challenging trail takes about 5 hours and 54 minutes. People use it for hiking and walking and love the views. Dogs must be on a leash. You can access this trailhead off ID-21 N about 25 minutes from Boise, beyond Lucky Peak State Park or extend your Adelmann Mine hike to include a trek up to Shaw Mountain.

Dry Creek – Shingle Creek Loop – 13.8 miles, 2,221 ft. elevation gain
This loop takes about 7 hours to complete. It’s popular for backpacking, trail running and hiking. Dogs are welcome and can be off-leash in some areas. You can access this trailhead with just a quick 15-minute drive from Boise up N Bogus Basin Rd.

Want more hiking adventures?

Go to our hiking page and Ridge to Rivers trail system blog for more information about great trails in the Treasure Valley. 

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