family photos in boise
Idaho Adventure Guide
family walking on the trail with the little girl in front looking directly at the camera close up

Southern Idaho is a beautiful place and if whether you are here for the first time to visit, or you are here to stay for a while, it’s time you learned all it has to offer.

This guide will give you all the tips and tricks you need to get out safely, teach you how to be respectful to your surroundings once and for all, and show you all the places to visit that you never knew were here.

To see more about a specific place, just click its title! 

To download this guide for printing, to see learn about leave no trace, the ten essentials while heading out and proper permits for travel, please visit HERE.

CLOSE TO BOISE

Boise outdoor adventures within 5 miles to explore

Zoo Boise

Our little Boise Zoo is really incredible for its size. It has so much to offer in terms of education and sights/animals to see as well as play structures. 

Boise River Greenbelt

Boise is known for its extensive paved greenbelt. Walk, ride or jog between all our 12 beautiful scenic parks along the river.

Floating the Boise River

With the Boise River running right through town, it is a must do every summer to take a trip down the river.

Skateboarding Parks

There are several skateboarding parks within the city limits of Boise as well as just outside. Experience them all to see which one is your favorite.

Ridge to Rivers- Boise Foothills

The Boise foothills are expansive and yet so close to town. They provide miles and miles of hiking, biking and 4 wheeling opportunities.

Quinns Pond/Esther Simplot Park

Within our little city an amazing place abounds with places for little kids to play, folks to paddle and great access to the Boise Greenbelt.

Boise Whitewater Park

Surfing in Boise? What is this you say? YES! This park has some sweet areas for surfing at all levels.

Boise Bike Park

Want to get some air while biking? Consider trying out the bike park right in the middle of town adjacent to the foothills

Archery in Boise

If you are a fan of archery, try your hand at one of our parks to practice. One park has targets and another has foam animals to practice shooting at.

Lucky Peak State Park

We are so lucky to have a state park so close to town. Offering year long activities for water or trail fun, Lucky Peak is a great family outing no matter when you decide to come.

Rock Climbing at Black Cliffs

If climbing rocks is what you enjoy, look no further. Boise offers several places within a short distance of town to hitch up and get up. (Also several indoor places as well!)

SEMI-CLOSE TO BOISE

Short drives within 100 miles of Boise

Eagle Island State Park

From hiking to swimming to paddling to winter sledding, Eagle Island has it all. With frisbee golf and even navigation trails, you won’t be sorry for visiting this place!

Eagle Bike Park

This collection of trails is simply unique because not only is it designed just for bikers, but it is designed for all skill levels.

Swan Falls Damn

FSwan Falls Dam is a pretty place that shows off some of the natural goodness that Idaho serves us every day. Lots of hiking, camping and even a visitor center to keep you busy here.

Black Canyon Reservoir

Nestled just above Emmett, Black Canyon offers lots of fun summer recreation activities from boating to paddling to swimming. There are 4 parks in the area that offer different amenities.

Lake Lowell Park

Not to be forgotten, Lake Lowell is a lake that offers many amenities to its users as well from boating to swimming to fishing.

Idaho City

Nestled in the mountains about an hour drive from Boise is a cute little ghost town with lots of charm. Come here to cut your tree down at Christmas or sled in the winter as well. With lots of hiking in the area and lots of great stories to tell, this city is a must see.

Celebration Park

What do wildlife, hiking, petroglyphs and camping have in common? You got it! And nestled right next to the snake river, you won’t be sorry you caught the view

Hiking

With several places to hike within 100 miles of boise, there is no way I could list them all. Each offer a specific trait that is worth seeing.

Fishing

Waterways are abundant in the Treasure Valley and beyond. Your job is to figure out where to go and what fish to catch. Rivers and lakes are abundant here.

Camping

Whether you choose to boondock, camp for two weeks, reserve your space or go on the cuff, Idaho has literally hundreds of camping areas that will serve you.

Bogus Basin

At the top of the mountain, you can’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime to cycle, hike, ski, sled and much more.

Lake Cascade State Park

A short drive out of the city and you get yet another lake to serve you interests of boating, floating, swimming and camping. Don’t forget that snow in the winter here makes for a good sledding or snowshoeing spot!

Owyhee Mountains

The Owyhees, standing alone out in the middle of nowhere it seems, is still quite close to town. Visited by hikers, bikers, horseback riders and ATV riders, this range is extensively gorgeous. With many rock formations and canyons, it is delight all year round. While it can get muddy in the winter, an one must be careful of getting your vehicle stuck, staying on the main roads will guarantee some fun. Don’t forget to visit Silver City in the summer when it is accessible!

White Water Rafting

Taking into consideration how many rivers we have here in Idaho, you would think rafting would be popular! And you would be right. Rafting down the Payette River using a guide or doing it yourself (if you have the right gear and knowhow) is the best medicine for a hot summer day.

Bruneau Dunes State Park

Who know sand dunes would be so much fun? Other than offering camping, you can rent sand sleds at the visitor center and even think about flying a kite. It can get very windy out there!

FARTHER FROM BOISE

Adventures that are over 100 miles from Boise (yet still close enough!) 

Box Canyon Nature Reserve/Thousand Springs State Park

Until you see it, you won’t know the vastness of its beauty. To see the crystal blue waters you have to trek to the bottom of the canyon!

Craters of the Moon National Preserve

One of 6 national parks we have here in Idaho, it’s a must see for its beauty. Every season provides different activities.

City of Rocks National Reserve

Another National Park in Idaho, this area serves as another all season getaway for many activities all year long

Rafting the Salmon River

Seemingly farther away- but not quite is yet another option for rafting. With several places to enter the river, you can either guide yourself with the right gear or hire a tour company!

Lake Payette

A short drive out of the city and you get yet another lake to serve you interests of boating, floating, swimming and camping. Just next to Ponderosa State Park, there is not a shortage of activities here. And don’t forget that snow in the winter here makes for a good sledding or snowshoeing spot!

Red Fish Lake

For beautiful views of the Sawtooth Mountains and some amazing camping and recreation, Redfish Lake is nationally known for its amenities.

Shoshone Falls

Just inside Twin Falls, and along the Snake River, this waterfall is a must see. Whether you are paddling there on the water or seeing it from above, the water is fine!

Ponderosa State Park

Nestled inside the city of McCall, this gorgeous park allows a lot of fun and amenities you won’t want to miss. 

Backpacking in the Sawtooth Mountains/7 Devils Mountains/White Cloud Mountains

For some folks, being in the middle of crowded camping areas isn’t for them. Take your hiking to the next level by backpacking through the mountains. Idaho sure has some beautiful backcountry and you can’t go wrong. Always take safety precautions when heading out into the inner mountains.