View of the beautiful wildflowers and the scenic view of the mountains during a one of the best hikes near Boise

15 Best Hikes Near Boise in 2023 (By a Local)

I’m a Boise local and outdoor enthusiast with insights into the absolute best day hikes near Boise! 

This guide features options for all skill levels, from challenging local favorites to family-friendly nature walks. I share where to find colorful wildflowers in the foothills and serene, tree-lined tracks in the mountains. I also overview a few hidden gems where you can enjoy peaceful solitude in Idaho’s great outdoors. 

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15 Best Hikes Near Boise

Freddy’s Stack Rock Trail

Beat the summer heat with this tree-lined mountain trail just 30 minutes up Bogus Basin Road.

Overlooking view surrounded by greenery seen from Freddy’s Stack Rock Trail
The nearby Boise National Forest from the Stack Rock trail

🥾 Moderate | 11.7 miles | Google Maps | Website | 30-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

Take one of the best Boise day trips and drive up Bogus Basin Road for about 30 minutes to reach this tree-covered trail. Follow signs carefully, as a few connecting trails could add mileage to your hike if you get turned around. Hike through the Boise National Forest for about 9 miles to reach the towering Stack Rock. This incredible rock formation is a great place to stop for lunch. 

This granite tower offers impressive views of the Treasure Valley and is a favorite spot for daring climbers. Follow the signs to loop around Stack Rock or simply hike there and back. Avoiding the loop portion of the Stack Rock trail will cut off about 2.5 miles. 


A popular training hike in the Boise mountains.

The author Taylor Ramsey, posing with the trail flag at the top of Cervidae
Me with the trail flag at the top of Cervidae

🥾 Difficult | 4.4 miles | Google Maps | Website | 30-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

Cervidae is one of the four highest peaks within an hour of Boise, collectively known as the Boise Grand Slam. Conquering these peaks is a favorite local challenge, with hikers around the state using them to train for late-season summits. 

Cervidae is a short but steep hike with over 1,800 feet of elevation gain in just over 2 miles. You’ll want to be well-prepared for this trail, as it has few switchbacks and a significant incline for such a short distance. Your calves and glutes will quickly start to feel the burn! 

Go in spring or fall when the daytime temps are a little cooler for the best experience. Look for a black box with a logbook and a summit flag for a great photo op once you’ve reached the top. Be sure to leave everything as you found it!

Mount Heinen

This difficult Grand Slam summit is not for the faint of heart.

Overlooking view of the mountain and lake from the Mount Heinen Trail
A moody hike up Mount Heinen

🥾 Difficult | 9.5 miles | Google Maps | Website | 1 hour drive from Boise | Cost: Free

The most difficult hike within an hour of Boise is certainly Mount Heinen. This one is not beginner-friendly with nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain, numerous false summits, and a relentless uphill climb.

The experienced hiker will enjoy breathtaking views, stunning wildflowers, and a great sense of accomplishment once they finally make it to the top. Be sure to sign the logbook at the top to document your accomplishment of conquering the most challenging Grand Slam hike. 

The drive to the trail is on a well-maintained dirt road for several miles, so be prepared. Bring more water than you think you’ll need, start early, and try to go on an overcast day (but watch out for storms). The trail is very exposed and the first two miles are the hardest!

👉 My Favorite Gear: I relied on my trekking poles for the steep downhill portions when I hiked Heinen. I recommend these Black Diamond trekking poles — they’ve served me well on many challenging hikes. 

Table Rock

This popular hike offers excellent city views and is just a short drive from downtown Boise.

View of the people at the top of Table Rock with a huge cross and blue sky in the background
The view from the top of Table Rock

🥾 Moderate | 3.7 miles | Google Maps | Website | 10-minute drive from downtown Boise | Cost: Free

Table Rock is a very popular trail and one of the best things to do in Boise. Locals love it for its easy access, great views, and community atmosphere. Table Rock trail begins at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary, so be sure to tour this historic landmark before or after your hike.

This moderate hike is well worth the effort with a large cross at the top and a stunning vista of downtown Boise below. Table Rock boasts 994 feet of elevation gain but is still family-friendly if you take your time.

Note that this trail gets HOT in the summertime. Go early and bring lots of water! Aim to hit the top at sunrise for a great view.

Adelmann Mine

Hike to an abandoned mine within the Boise National Forest.

The author Taylor Ramsey, posing over the small bridge at Adelmann Mine
Me at Adelmann Mine on a spring hike

🥾 Moderate | 4.7 miles | Google Maps | 30-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

This hike is a beautiful way to explore a unique piece of Idaho’s history. Hike just over 2 miles to an abandoned gold mine building, now home to various native birds. Be prepared for a consistent incline on this hike and bring lots of water and sunscreen. There is no shade on the entire trail, so plan accordingly.

Continue past the mine to Shaw Mountain (Lucky Peak) to summit one of Boise’s Grand Slam hikes. This route adds about 4 miles and 1,000 feet of elevation gain to the hike.

Hike Adelmann mine in the spring for the best views, great weather, and abundant wildflowers. Also, arrive early to secure parking — space is limited! 

Boise River Greenbelt

Enjoy this paved, shaded path along the Boise River. 

View of the trees blossoms at the Boise River Greenbelt during spring season
The Boise Greenbelt with spring blossoms

🥾 Easy | Up to 25 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | In Boise | Cost: Free

Explore downtown Boise in the best way possible via the famous Boise Greenbelt. This 25-mile pathway travels along the Boise River through the city’s most well-known parks and greenspaces. 

Stop for a bite to eat or a cup of coffee at one of the many Boise eateries along the way. You can even check out Zoo Boise and the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial on your walk. Park at Ann Morrison or Julia Davis for free parking and easy access to the heart of the Greenbelt. 

Around the Mountain Trail / Bogus Basin Loop Trail

This highly-customizable loop circles around Shafer Butte, offering panoramic views.

Overlooking view surrounded by greenery from Around the Mountain Trail
The view from Around the Mountain Loop

🥾 Moderate | 7.2 miles | Google Maps | Website | 45-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

I love a good loop trail! Explore Bogus Basin Ski Resort in the summer months with this dynamic hike. This area is popular for mountain bikers, but hikers can also enjoy the many trails available. 

This loop combines multiple trails, so pay attention to the map and plan your route ahead of time. You can easily add an extra 1.5 miles by hiking to the top of Shafer Butte, a scenic overlook at 7,000 feet elevation.

Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve Trail

Explore the Boise foothills from this popular starting area.

🥾 Easy | 1.5 miles | Google Maps | 5-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

This easy nature walk takes you through a lovely preserve with plenty of opportunities for birdwatching. The trail is quiet and peaceful, making this the perfect stroll for wildlife and nature enthusiasts alike. 

No dogs are allowed on this trail (except service animals). Biking, swimming, and fishing are also prohibited to help protect the ecosystem.

Dry Creek Trail and Shingle Creek Loop

Enjoy this long hike just a few miles up Bogus Basin Road.

View of the greenery around the Dry Creek Trail and Shingle Creek Loop
View from the end of the Dry Creek and Shingle Creek Loop

🥾 Difficult | 13.8 miles | Google Maps | 20-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

This is one of the best trails if you’re looking for a long hike near Boise with fun stream crossings, some challenging inclines, and plenty of trees. It is one of the longer hiking trails in the area and therefore, one of the less popular. This makes it perfect for hikers looking for some peace and quiet.

Don’t be fooled by the name. This trail was anything but dry when I went in early May! Be prepared to get your feet wet or bring a pair of water shoes to change into for the creek crossings. I brought my Chacos sandals when I did this hike. They are excellent water shoes and are perfect for hikes with a lot of stream crossings. 

Hulls Gulch Nature Trail

Get away from the bike traffic on this easy trail in the Boise Foothills.

Scenic view of the greenery from Hulls Gulch Nature Trail
Upper Hulls Gulch trail

🥾 Easy | 6.3 miles | Google Maps | 15-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

Drive 3 miles down a well-maintained dirt road to start your hike at the Upper Hulls Gulch trailhead. Upper Hulls Gulch trail is reserved for foot traffic so you won’t have to worry about running into any mountain bikers along the way.

The gentle incline and rolling hills make this an easy, family-friendly option that is popular for hiking and trail running. You can also explore the Lower Hulls Gulch trail or any connecting trails to customize the hike and make it as short or as long as you’d like!

🐍 Safety Warning: Some hikers have reported seeing rattlesnakes in the area. Keep an eye on any children or pets you bring with you!

Oregon Trail

Walk along the historic Oregon Trail on an easy, out-and-back path.

🥾 Easy | 2.8 miles | Google Maps | Website | 15-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

This historic landmark trail lies just outside of Boise near Lucky Peak State Park. This spot is a must-visit for any history buff with informative signposts and trail ruts from 19th-century pioneers. 

Go hiking, mountain biking, or horse riding along this special piece of American History. Be sure to take pictures in the wagon-inspired trailhead before you start your adventure.

The trail is accessible all year but is often muddy from winter through late spring. Pay attention to any signs of trail closures to avoid damaging the path. This is a great option for families hiking with kids, as it is short with very little elevation gain.

Charcoal Gulch

Enjoy this scenic mountain trail near Idaho City.

View of the tall trees at the forested trail in Charcoal Gulch
This forested trail has plenty of shade

🥾 Moderate | 5 miles | Google Maps | 1 hour drive from Boise | Cost: Free

Take a trip to Idaho City and enjoy this moderately challenging trail through the Boise National Forest. Charcoal Gulch is just one hour outside of Boise and a pleasant hike with some elevation gain, but nothing too strenuous. 

This is a popular hike in Idaho City, but you might have the trail to yourself if you get an early start. It doesn’t go to a viewpoint or overlook, unlike other hikes near Boise. However, the peaceful forest atmosphere and shaded trail make this an excellent option for a great summer hike.

👉 My Favorite Gear: Mosquitoes usually aren’t a problem in the Treasure Valley, but you might encounter some on this hike. I love Natrapel for a plant-based insect repellent that actually works.

Wees Bar Petroglyph Trail

Travel back in time on this archaeological trail near Melba. 

Closeup view of the petroglyphs on the rocks at Wees Bar
Petroglyphs at Wees Bar

🥾 Moderate | 11.8 miles | Google Maps | 45-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

Journey to the Snake River for an all-day adventure and explore ancient petroglyphs and stunning desert scenery. Various unique rock formations and a historic homesteaders cabin make this trail one of the best for early-season hiking. 

Walk across Swan Falls Dam to start the hike, and follow your map or GPS to stay on track. You’re close to Wees Bar when you spot a large pipe on the opposite side of the river. The boulder field at Wees Bar is where you’ll find Native American rock art.

The trail is almost 12 miles, but it is a relatively easy hike and you can make it shorter if needed. Many people mountain bike on this trail to cover more ground. Fuel up on gas, water, and snacks before heading for the trailhead.

This trail is very exposed and gets incredibly hot in the summertime. Watch out for snakes in the late spring and summer! 

Bethine Church River Trail

One of my favorite (less busy) walks along the Boise River.

View of the greenery around the Bethine Church River Trail
The green Bethine Church River Trail

🥾 Easy | 2.7 miles | Google Maps | 5-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

Start at Baggley Park for a lovely nature walk along the Boise River. This walk is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the Greenbelt and enjoy a bit more solitude in nature. Though, you can easily connect to the Greenbelt if you want to extend your walk. 

You will have to go through a neighborhood to access the trail, but it is open to the public. Note that part of this trail was flooded when I went in early spring. Pay attention to the river conditions and check for any trail closure signs when visiting. 

Harrison Hollow

Bring your pooch on this easy hike in the Boise Foothills.

🥾 Easy | 4.2 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | 15-minute drive from Boise | Cost: Free

This easy ridge trail is the perfect option for a sunrise trail run or hike with your pup! It is a popular off-leash area, so feel free to let your dog socialize and explore.

You can easily connect with other trails surrounding Harrison Hollow to make your hike shorter or longer. Enjoy lovely yellow wildflowers and views of the surrounding green mountains in the spring and early summer. 

FAQs About Hiking in Boise

Does Boise have good hiking?

Boise has excellent hiking. Most of the hikes near Boise are in the Boise Foothills, including Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve Trail and Hulls Gulch Nature Trail. There are also many great hiking options up Bogus Basin Road and in the nearby Boise National Forest, like Freddy’s Stack Rock Trail and Charcoal Gulch

What are the hardest hikes around Boise?

The hardest hikes around Boise are Mount Heinen and Cervidae. These hikes make up half of the Boise Grand Slam, which are the four highest peaks within an hour of Boise. Cervidae is short and steep, while Mount Heinen has more elevation gain over a longer distance. 


These are just a few of the best hikes near Boise, loved by locals and visitors alike. Be sure to read my guide on where to stay in Boise if you’re traveling through! 

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