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Top 5 Hiking Areas Within 3 Hours of Boise

Last updated May 20, 2020 by Totally Boise

One of the best things about Boise is its accessibility of beautiful hiking trails all around the Treasure Valley. With the warm months coming up hiking with our friends and furry animals is one of the best, most rewarding feelings. Not only do you get a great workout in, but you also get rewarded with insane views within and above the mountains. Here are 5 of the best hiking trails within 3 hours of Boise. It’s time for you to experience all things Idaho has to offer, with emphasis on the amazing landscapes that surround us!

1. Cervidae Peak (Boise) :

Located in the Boise Mountains North of Lucky Peak Lake (ID-21). This hike is about 4.4 miles and has unreal views of the lake and the greenery of the mountains. This hike is rated pretty difficult with a steep incline, but the end results are well worth the sweat. From the summit, you can see Shafer Butte, Mt. Heinan, and Sunset Peak.

“Cervidae” is commonly referred to as “the deer family”, so make sure you grab your cameras because it isn’t uncommon to see these beautiful species roaming around with you!

Cervidae Peak

Photo Credit: Summit Post, @deltaoperator17

2. Elephant’s Perch (Stanley) :

Also known as Saddleback Lakes Trail, which is located in Stanley, Idaho approximately 140 miles from Boise. The trail towers above the trees in the Sawtooth mountains. Elephant’s Perch gives you breathtaking views, plus Stanley is the best place to pitch a tent and take it all in.

The best time to do this trail is during the summer months so you don’t run into any difficulties involving weather. The starting point is Redfish Lake, it’s typically recommended to take the boat shuttle across the lake and start there, knocking the hike down by about 4 or 6 miles. This hike is about 2-3 miles, but the view of the surrounding lake and forest make it all worthwhile.

Elephant’s Perch

Photo Credit: Summit Post, @jtschanz

3. Louie Lake & Jughandle Mountain (McCall) :

Located in the beautiful McCall, Idaho this trail is also known as a “trophy” lake. Magnificent cliffs that cover the back of the Jughandle Mountain, giving you a beautiful view to embrace along the trail. After about 2 miles you’ll reach the Louie Lake, but be aware it’s a pretty steady uphill hike. As you continue the trail, you can loop over to Boulder Lake which ends up being about a 6.8-mile long hike, well worth it as you pass three beautiful lakes. This hike is moderate, passing through the south side of Twin Peaks you’ll reach the summit rewarding you with flat terrain and astonishing views.

Lakes you pass through:

  • Louie Lake
  • Boulder Lake
  • Boulder Reservoir
Louie Lake and Jughandle Mountain

Photo Credit: Keith Lannom

4. Baker Lake (Sun Valley) :

5 miles of the beautiful Sun Valley makes this trail perfect for the whole family. It is an easy hike close to town and is a perfect getaway for a family picnic and to enjoy the scenery. There is plenty to do once you arrive at the top, along with enjoying the stunning view of the lake, the spot is also a very popular fishing location.

Sun Valley is known for beautiful hidden gems around the town and you’ll be blown away once you see the lake from the top of this trail.

Baker Lake

Photo Credit: Jeanne Wallace

5. Norton Pass (Sun Valley) :

Also located in Sun Valley, Norton Pass is known as an alpine playground. This hike is 4.6 miles of pure bliss. A relatively short hike with incredible views, most hikers end their trip at Norton Lakes, but the views from the pass make it all worth it!

During this hike, you get views of the beautiful Miner Lake, along with the craggy ridgelines of the Smoky Mountains. Sun Valley gives you beautiful views of all things mountains and lakes, and this is one hike we recommend you go on for some of the most beautiful views.

Norton Pass

Photo Credit: Lindsey Spurling Wright




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