Totally Boise Blog


6 Underrated Adventure Spots within 3 Hours of Boise

Last updated July 29, 2020 by Tessa Bishop

Idaho may be known for it’s potatoes, but don’t let that fool you, Idaho has some of the prettiest sights to see in nature. From hidden trails to large lakes, Idaho continues to impress us with some of the most simply beautiful scenery. The best part is, many of these places are within 3 hours of Boise! So here you have it, 6 underrated adventure spots a day trip away from Boise:

1. Box Canyon Springs

How we just learned about this place, we’re not sure! Box Canyon Springs located in Wendell, Idaho is the 11th largest spring in North America. The adventure continues at Box Canyon Springs as it’s about a mile walk until you’ll find yourself amazed by the large canyon walls and crystal-clear water at the end of the trail. A fun face about Box Canyon Springs, is that 180,000 gallons of water here pour into the Snake River every minute!

Boise's Hidden Oasis
Box Canyon Springs

2. Niagara Springs

About 10 miles from Box Canyon Springs will lead you to Niagara Springs, the world-famous natural wonders located near Hagerman, at Thousand Springs State Park. Niagara Springs flow out of the canyon’s wall at 250 cubic feet per second, coming from the Snake River Plain, one of the largest underground water systems in the world! With clear water and beautiful surroundings, Niagara Springs are definitely a sight worth seeing.

Niagara Springs

3. Bruneau Sand Dunes

Located in Bruneau, Idaho the Sand Dunes are an Idaho State Park about 64 miles south of Boise. Home to the tallest freestanding sand dunes in North America, with the highest reaching 470 feet, Bruneau Sand Dunes have spectacular views, surrounding trails, and easy camping. Bring your family for an adventure of sandboarding or bring your friends for a sunset picnic!

Bruneau Sand Dunes

4. Stack Rock

Just about 13 miles above Bogus Basin Road is Stack Rock, a tower of granite offering 360-degree views of the Treasure Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and beyond. The hike is about 9 miles there and back, so we’d recommend hiking Stack Rock if you’ve got the skills of an intermediate hiker.

Stack Rock

5. Black Magic Canyon

A landscape carved over thousands of years from the Big Wood River, is Black Magic Canyon, known for amazing views and inspiring natural rock sculptures. The best time to sightsee at Black Magic Canyon is later into summer, around July or August, and throughout the rest of the fall. The basalt is very smooth, we recommend sturdy walking shoes when exploring Black Magic Canyon!

Black Magic Canyon

Photo Credit: Ana Gayd, @ana_gayd

6. Lily Lake

A hidden gem tucked away in the Sawtooth Mountains. Just past Redfish Lake, you can find Lily Lake names after its surface covered in bright green lily pads! While most lakes in the mountains of Idaho are frigid in temperature, you can expect warmer temperatures and a marshy environment here. To find Lily Lake, begin the hike on the Grand Mogul Trail and look for a sign that points to the “Lily Pond”, you’ll walk a short distance to the beautiful land!

Lily Lake




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