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.
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.
TRAIL #5 OREGON TRAIL RESERVE
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.