In the northwest, there are many great places for recreation. There is sightseeing, shopping, skiing, swimming and more. Even with this diverse array of options, there is one activity entertains nearly every American at some point in their life: hiking. All can participate in some fashion--hiking can be done for short or long periods of time, where the ground is level or nearly vertical, paved or rocky. Nearly every state holds opportunities for this adventurous sport, but Idaho is definitely at the top of the pack. Whether you prefer day hikes or backpacking, Idaho, one big state of gorgeous hiking opportunity, is for you.
Many realize the tremendous benefits of lacing up and traipsing around the great outdoors. The exercise is an obvious reason, however there are many hobbies that can be enjoyed and even enhanced by hiking.
On a hike in Idaho you might find yourself in the middle of one of many amazing experiences no matter their profession or interests. For instance, a photographer may find themselves spell bound by the perfect photo-op, a bird watcher could come face to face with one of Idaho’s majestic birds of prey and the fisherman could finally catch
"The Big One."
No matter your reason for venturing in them, the mountains, or deserts, of Idaho will hold a treasure for you.
A tremendous hike for those that like a longer road would definitely be the Jump Creek–Sands Basin Trail. Located near Nampa Idaho, this 52-mile trail is perfect for biking, horseback riding and, of course, hiking. The trail is for more intense hikers--at a point or two one may be required to do some rock climbing to keep on the trail! The Sands Basin is famous for not only the amazing view, but also for its local herd of wild mustangs!
If you are visiting the state capitol, then Table Rock is the hike for you. With the option of either a three mile trail starting down by the old Boise Penitentiary, and another option to drive up the back to reach the peak and hike a few hundred feet up to the very top, Table Rock is accessible to everyone. The amazing sandstone outcropping looms over downtown Boise and offers a stunning view of the Treasure Valley. Table Rock is great outings and gatherings. Due to Table Rock’s unique construction, it is lined with caves, crevasses, and tunnels that will surely keep you on your toes. The surrounding hills and mountains are another exciting aspect of Table Rock. Wildlife of every kind can be found there: deer, birds, lizards, and maybe even a bobcat or coyote. Table Rock is a classic Boise activity for good reason.
Now, let us think about a different type of hike; maybe you prefer backpacking. In the Sawtooth Mountains, there are hundreds of places to explore. One that stands out is the hike to Lake Hell Roaring. Hell Roaring is a gorgeous jewel nestled deep into the mountains. From the trail head it is a three mile hike (unless you have a vehicle with four-wheel drive, in which case you can park within a mile from the lake). At Hell Roaring there is a plethora of things to do. Camping is available along with separate day hikes to different sights and landmarks, but the most attractive thing about Hell Roaring is the fishing. And if Hell Roaring isn't promising enough, another mile hike and you will reach Upper Hell Roaring Lake. This lake is small, but the fish are plenty. It’s rumored that one can sometimes get a bite for every cast at Upper Hell Roaring.
If the sciences are more your thing then Craters of the Moon is definitely the place for you. Located in south-central Idaho, Craters of the Moon is two identical craters more than 300 yards wide and several hundred yards deep. Hiking into the craters gives visitors an awestruck feeling as you feel the sheer size of the hole left so many years ago. Aside from the craters' beauty, they also serve as a great aid to the wildlife community. The nooks and crannies of the crater’s volcanic rock walls are home to lizards and birds of all kinds.
Now that you've gotten a little taste of Idaho, we hope that someday you will visit or take advantage of these many offerings. Whether you are extremely sporty or just looking for a weekend activity, the Gem State is for you. If going on a hike every day sounds like a dream, try looking at out-of-the-way, close-to-nature towns like Emmett, Kuna, Idaho City.