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A go-to hiking loop with incredible views over downtown Boise.


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Map Key

2.5

Miles

4.0

KM

Loop

3,155' 962 m

High

2,794' 852 m

Low

363' 111 m

Up

362' 110 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Simple access and suitable difficulty for families

Overview

This loop combines some of the best short trails at Military Reserve, including Central Ridge with it's panoramic view over the valley.

Need to Know

No restrooms at this trailhead, but there are facilities at the main Military Reserve trailhead nearby.

Description

There are many routes you can take with the network of trails at Military Reserve, but this 2.5-mile loop is one suggestion for a simple morning or afternoon outing. To do this route as mapped, park at the Cottonwood Creek trailhead and begin on Toll Road Trail. This is a wide and mostly flat path. It traverses above the creek and beneath some bright red-colored sandstone cliffs. At the end of this trail you'll turn on Ridge Crest and start heading uphill. This trail twists upward in a small canyon where you'll start to get views over the city. In springtime, the big yellow flowers of the arrowleaf balsamroot are especially pretty along this section of the hike.

Eventually you'll reach the top of the hill, where a short spur leads to an amazing overlook. From you can see over all of Boise and the Treasure Valley, across the Snake River Plain and to the Owyhee Mountains on the other side. It's all downhill from here on Central Ridge Trail, where you'll have a postcard view of Boise's skyline in your view the whole time.

Contacts

Land Manager: Ridge to Rivers

Shared By:

Jesse Weber

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#4735

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#67

in Idaho

#4,735

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Photos

Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers along Ridge Crest Trail.
Feb 29, 2024 near Boise, ID
Central Ridge Trail and downtown Boise.
Feb 29, 2024 near Boise, ID

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