Totally Boise Blog


Ridge To Rivers Shares Perfect Trails For Fall Hikes

Last updated October 08, 2021 by Mariah Hebbeln

The Ridge to Rivers organization has been working on constructing and maintaining our Treasure Valley trail systems and many more across the country for close to 70 years. What started in the 1940s as a desire to preserve the incredible hiking trails and natural landscape has turned into hours upon hours of careful conservations.

Now, the entity is a close partnership between the City of Boise, Ada County, the Bureau of Land Management Four Rivers Field Office, Boise National Forest, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Together, they work to keep our trails accessible and in wonderful shape.

Now that the season has officially shifted to Fall, the City of Trees has a wonderful landscape of changing colors to behold. The team at Ridge to Rivers has put together two incredible lists to help you get out into this wonderful scenery. List number one contains eight different trails that let you walk in and around the fall leaves. The second list lets you get a vast look across the changing colors.

Trails To Hike Through The Trees in Boise

Trails To Hike Through The Trees

  • 5-mile Gulch # 2
  • The Grove #38
  • Gold Finch #35
  • Cottonwood Creek #27
  • Freestone Creek #22B
  • Owl’s Roost #37
  • Red-Winged Blackbird #35A
  • Around The Mountain #98

Trails To View The Best Fall Landscape

  • Central Ridge Trail #22
  • Camel’s Back Trail #40
  • Homestead Trail #12
  • Cobb Trail #13
  • Valley View Trail #111
  • Full Sail Trail #56
  • Buena Vista #53

Access the Trails Map and more Ridge to Rivers information at the following link,

View Trails Map

Native Floral And Fauna You Can Find In Fall in Boise

Native Floral And Fauna You Can Find In Fall

The Boise Foothills are filled with a rich biodiversity of trees, bushes, flowers, and animals, both native and exotic to the area. Some might be in season, coming out of season, or exist merely as dried-out transformations of their former seasonal glory.

Check out this list of what you can identify along your Boise Foothills hike!


  • Cottonwood
  • Locust
  • Juniper
  • Pine
  • Larch
  • Aspen
  • Chokecherry
  • Fir


  • Sagebrush
  • Snowberry
  • Rosehip
  • Currant
  • Quince
  • Blackberry

Forbs (Flowers)

  • Yarrow
  • Fleabane
  • Wild Strawberry
  • Sticky geranium
  • Delphinium
  • Lupine
  • Penstemon

To discover more native plants, click the link,

Boise Area Native Plants

Commonly spotted animals in the Boise foothills


According to the City of Boise, these are the animals that are commonly spotted in the Boise Foothills; along with other, less common animals found.

  • American Badger
  • American Beaver
  • Bat
  • Coyote
  • Squirrel
  • Mule Deer
  • Raccoon
  • Red Fox
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Yellow-Bellied Marmot
  • Western Rattle Snake
  • North American Racer
  • Gophersnake (Bullsnake)

For more information on Boise’s animal neighbors, click here,

Boise's Animal Neighbors

Commonly spotted birds in the Boise foothills


  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Osprey
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Western Screech-Owl
  • California Quail
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Common Raven
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch

To find more information along with more species and pictures of birds found in Boise, click this link,

Field Guide to Boise Birds

Less Common Animals That Have Been Spotted

Less Common Animals That Have Been Spotted

  • Mountain Lions
  • Bobcats
  • Rocky Mountian Elk
  • Black Bear
  • Porcupine

If you spot one of the beautiful local creatures, remember to never approach, touch, or feed them. For the more dangerous animals like big cats, dogs, and bears, here are some life-saving tips if you encounter them on the trails,

  • Never turn your back to the animal
  • Walk backward, slowly
  • Wear bells and whistles to alert the animals of your presence before you see them
  • Carry bear spray or a small weapon
  • Don’t hike in the dark
  • Stay calm, never run or climb trees to escape an animal
  • Store food in smell-proof containers
  • Do not crouch or bend over, this increases your appearance as a four-legged animal
  • Keep children close to you

If the animal keeps approaching you,

  • Make yourself appear large with sticks, clothing, and your voice
    • Say things like “Hey Bear!” or bang objects together
  • Throw objects at the animal
  • Fight back by going for the nose, eyes, or throat of the animal
  • Spray with bear spray, or as a last resort, shoot the animal with a well placed and deadly shot from a gun

Now is the perfect time to get out and explore all of the wonderful landscapes and natural foliage that the Boise Foothills have to offer. Boise is unlike many other cities in the United State with our growing metro area, yet immediate and free access to wild hikeable spaces.

It takes intentional effort on behalf of all of us who enjoy these trails to keep them maintained. To learn more about how to do that, check out the following page on trail etiquette and preservations actions you can uphold,

Preserve Boise




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