Best Hikes in Boise National Forest (ID)

Boise National Forest Overview

Boise National Forest is located in west central Idaho, just north of Boise. The Forest comprises five ranger districts – Mountain Home, Idaho City, Cascade, Lowman and Emmett—with district offices located in each of those towns. Major mountain ranges include the Boise, Salmon River and West Mountain ranges featuring steep slopes of coarse-textured soils that readily take in and transmit water. In addition to the best hikes in Boise National Forest included below, hiking and rafting on the Payette River is seen as one of the top recreational activities for visitors.

Nearest Metro AreaBoise, ID
Area Size2,612,000 acres
EstablishedJuly 1, 1908
Hiking Trails1,200 miles

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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Boise National Forest

(*** = best hikes in Boise National Forest)

Adelmann Mine Trail – 4.8 miles out and back

This is a fun historical trail located near Boise, just south of Boise National Forest and not managed by the forest. The trailhead is somewhat hard to find off of Hwy 21 near the Wildlife Management Area. Hikers will head up Lucky Peak until they reach the mine which is still in excellent condition. Return the way you came or continue on to Lucky Peak.

Blue Lake Trail – 2.6 miles out and back
Blue Lake near Tripod Peak Trail
Blue Lake near Tripod Peak Trail, Photo by Intermountain Forest Service, USDA Region 4

Short but steep hike to Blue Lake, offering beautiful panoramic views of Long Valley, Lake Cascade and the lake, from the road before you get to the trailhead. 

Jennie Lake Trail*** – 8.0 miles out and back
Jenny Lake Boise National Forest
Jennie Lake, Photo by Intermountain Forest Service, USDA Region 4

Jennie Lake is a lovely cirque basin lake and home to some wiley trout. The first 3 miles of the trail pass through Douglas-fir stands before giving way to lodgepole pine and subalpine fir in the upper elevations.

Mores Mountain Interpretive Trail – 2.1 mile loop
Mores Mountain, Photo by US Department of Agriculture

The Mores Mountain Loop takes off from Shafer Butte Picnic Area. The hike is moderate to strenuous with a vertical gain of 1,000 feet. The loop is great for the entire family!

Stack Rock Trail*** – 9.4 mile out and back
Sunrise near Bogus Basin with Inversion
Sunrise near Bogus Basin, Photo by Charles Knowles

The Stack Rock trail is an awesome intermediate-level day hike with lots of shade. Beginning from the trailhead about 13 miles up Bogus Basin Road (look for a gravel pull-out on your left), the Stack Rock trail winds through the beautiful pine trees. The trail leads to Stack Rock, an imposing granite tower with amazing 360 degree views of the Treasure Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and beyond. Recently installed signage makes the trail easy to follow. 

Featured Image: Boise National Forest, Photo by U.S. Forest Service

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3 Responses

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