Grab your Backpack and Hit These Five Trails This Spring

Spring is a great time to get out and hit the trails in and around the Treasure Valley! The weather will be perfect to do a little light hiking and enjoy the fresh air and blooming wildflowers.  Depending on the length of the hike be sure to pack your backpack with a snack, lunch, and a water bottle. We are confident these five trails listed below will have you singing “Happy Trails to You” in no time.  So, gather the family, a friend or two, and hit the trails!

Trail #1 Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail

Location: From State Street in Downtown Boise, drive north on 8th Street for 4.6 miles to the signed trailhead on the right.

Trail Length: 4.4 Miles

Description: The Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail is a great hike. The trail parallels the lush Hulls Gulch for most of the route and the drainage supports a rich combination of flora including chokecherry, Wood’s rose, cottonwoods, willows, and syringa. This may even be a great location to spot some spring wildflowers as well. There are many trailside interpretive signs along the way that provide interesting information regarding local vegetation, wildlife, and geology.


Trail #2 Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve

Location: 5301 N. Maple Grove Road, Boise, ID

Description: The Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve is 44 acres with paths and a few small bridges through a wetlands type environment. What you see will depend on the time of year you visit. Good for exercise, nice dirt paths, but only one area with benches to sit and rest, so pace yourself. Two entrances, one on McMillian Road and the larger main entrance off of N. Maple Grove Road. This one has bathrooms and parking for at least 30 cars. Plenty of ducks but again, time of season and day determines what else you will see. It is bounded on three sides by highways and the fourth houses. *No dogs allowed.


Trail #3 JUMP Creek

Location: Marsing, ID. The BLM’s website says "From Boise, take Interstate 84 West to the Nampa exit for Highway 55 (Exit 33A). Follow Highway 55 through Marsing and on to the junction with US-95.  Continue 1½ miles past the junction and turn left onto Cemetery Road.  Turn left at the T-intersection with a STOP sign.  The road becomes Jump Creek Road as it continues south.  Just after passing under power transmission lines, the road curves right, through private land – stay on the roadway as it curves back to the left toward the entry to the recreation area."

Trail Length: 0.5 Miles

Description: Enjoy a magnificent 60-foot waterfall at Jump Creek! The fall flows from Sands Basin and the surrounding canyon boasts vibrant rock walls that rise hundreds of feet above the canyon floor.


Trail #4 Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge: Nature Trail Habitat Hike

Location: 13751 Upper Embankment Road, Nampa, ID

Trail Length: 0.6 Miles

Description: 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 and the distant Owyhee Mountains are visible to the south. Grab a trail pamphlet from the visitor center for your own self-guided nature tour. BONUS: since you are close to some of Idaho’s best wine country consider visiting some local wineries after you are finished with your hike. Visit the Sunny Slope Wine Trail to learn more.



Location: 4500 E. Lake Forest Dr., Boise, ID

Trail Length: 2.8 Miles

Description: Looking for a scenic view of Boise and an opportunity to view the historic Kelton Ramp on the Oregon Trail?  Then this hike is for you! The Oregon Trail Reserve is a 77-acre site in Southeast Boise. This site was made a "reserve" with the goal of preserving remnants of the Oregon Trail and educating the public about this valuable historic resource. There are two Oregon Trail ramps located in the vicinity, the Beaver Dicks and the Kelton Ramp. The Kelton ramp is located about 500 feet NW of Highway 21 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The ramp dates back to the early 1860’s!  You don’t want to miss seeing the rock cut through the basalt rim between the second and third terraces above the Boise River.

For more great ideas on trails and other outdoor adventures and even meetups to hike in Idaho, check out the following links, REI Trail Run Project, Ridge to Rivers, and Idaho Conservation League.

Volunteer Opportunities in Boise

When it comes to cleaning, we usually spend all our efforts tidying up around the house. We clean our car, our home, or pets. Why not think bigger? Why not work with others in town to clean up the community? There are many great opportunities in the Treasure Valley that allow you to get out and enjoy the city you live in and make a difference for others living near you. Here are five great opportunities to help clean up Boise.


Spotted Dog Photography

Scoop the Poop

Although picking up our pet’s poop is not something that we like to do, it is vital to keeping our parks and trails clean. On Saturday, March 9th you can join a group of volunteers to clean up some of Boise’s parks and trails. You can even bring your pets! The Boise Parks and Recreation Department will provide bags and rubber gloves for volunteers. Although this is not the most glamorous job, it is a nice way to get out and enjoy some of Boise’s parks and trails. Learn more about this event here.


Restore Table Rock

Table Rock is a favorite spot for most Boise natives. But years of fire damage and human foot traffic have eliminated some of the critical vegetation in the area. Why not spend a Saturday lending a hand and planting native plants like Sagebrush and Bitterbrush? Restoring this area will help promote the growth of wildlife  and replenish what has been destroyed by years of use. The City of Boise will provide the plants – all you need to bring is a good attitude and your favorite gardening tool. For a full description of the event and a schedule of volunteer dates check out the event’s page here.


Clean Up the Watershed

If you enjoy taking walks along the Boise River, then you should consider spending a Saturday helping clean up the paths along the river. Volunteers will work under the direction of City of Boise officials to weed the area, clear paths of debris and clutter, rake leaves, and spread bark to keep the River Campus looking pristine. If you enjoy gardening and spending time near the Boise River, then this is the right opportunity for you. Sign up or learn more here.


Spotted Dog Photography

Paint the Town

Paint the Town is always a great time! With this fun community project you get to work with a large group of other volunteers spending a Saturday painting houses in the Treasure Valley for those who are in need. This is not only a great opportunity to help others in your community, but your efforts will restore community pride and make someone else’s home look nicer. For more information about how to participate check out This year’s paint the town is June 8th.


Rake up Boise

This volunteer opportunity is brought to you by NeighborWorks Boise. In early November, volunteer a Saturday to rake the lawns of the elderly or disabled. Nearly 6,000 volunteers participated in 2017! For more information visit


These are only a few of the ways we can make a difference in our community. Let’s keep our community clean by working together!