Idaho is full of natural beauty and stunning landscapes, making it a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. With numerous hiking trails spread across the state, narrowing down the best options for a successful and enjoyable trip can be challenging. In this blog post, we will highlight five of Idaho’s most beautiful and unique hiking trails, along with tips for planning a successful trip.
1. Sawtooth Lake Trail
The Sawtooth Lake Trail is a must-visit destination for any hiker in Idaho. This 10-mile trail in the Sawtooth Mountains offers stunning views of alpine lakes, granite peaks, and wildflower meadows. The trail is rated moderate and can be completed in about six hours.
One of the highlights of the Sawtooth Lake Trail is, of course, the Sawtooth Lake itself. This crystal-clear lake is surrounded by jagged peaks and offers the perfect spot for a picnic or a swim on a hot summer day.
2. Bruneau Canyon Overlook Trail
The Bruneau Canyon Overlook Trail is another must-visit destination in Idaho. This 3.5-mile trail in the Bruneau Canyon Overlook State Park offers stunning views of the deep canyon and unique rock formations.
One of the highlights of the Bruneau Canyon Overlook Trail is the breathtaking canyon views from various overlooks. The canyon is over 800 feet deep and is home to unique rock formations, including hoodoos and spires.
To plan a successful Bruneau Canyon Overlook Trail hike, hikers should bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. It’s also recommended to wear sturdy hiking shoes and to carry a camera to capture the stunning views.
3. City of Rocks National Reserve Trail
The City of Rocks National Reserve Trail is a unique and stunning destination in Idaho. This 22-mile trail in the City of Rocks National Reserve offers stunning views of rock formations and historic sites.
One of the highlights of the City of Rocks National Reserve Trail is the unique rock formations formed over millions of years. These formations offer a variety of climbing opportunities for hikers who are looking for a more adventurous experience.
To plan a successful hike on the City of Rocks National Reserve Trail, hikers should bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. It’s also recommended to bring camping gear if planning to camp overnight.
4. Upper Priest Lake Trail
The Upper Priest Lake Trail is another stunning hiking destination in Idaho. This 19-mile trail is located in the Priest Lake State Park and offers stunning views of the pristine lake and surrounding forest. The trail is rated moderate and can be completed in about two days.
One of the highlights of the Upper Priest Lake Trail is the beautiful views of the lake from various vantage points. The lake’s crystal-clear waters offer a great opportunity for swimming and fishing, and the trail also passes through dense forests and meadows.
5. Table Rock Trail
The Table Rock Trail is a popular hiking destination in Boise, Idaho. This 3.8-mile trail in the Boise Foothills offers stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains. The trail is rated moderate and can be completed in about two hours.
One of the highlights of the Table Rock Trail is the breathtaking views of the city and the Boise River Valley. Hikers can also explore the unique rock formations and sagebrush-covered hills. The trail also passes by the Table Rock Cross, which is a symbol of faith and hope for the community.
Tips for Planning a Successful Hiking Trip in Idaho
Before embarking on a hiking trip in Idaho, planning and preparing for the journey is important. Here are some tips to help ensure a successful hiking trip:
Research the Trail: Before hitting the trail, research to find out more about the trail’s difficulty level, length, and terrain. This will help you prepare for the journey and ensure you have the necessary gear and supplies.
Check the Weather: Weather can change quickly in Idaho, so it’s important to check the forecast before heading out. Be prepared for sudden storms and pack rain gear if necessary.
Bring the Right Gear: Bring appropriate gear for the trail; including sturdy hiking shoes, a backpack, and plenty of water and snacks. Don’t forget to bring a map or GPS device and a first aid kit.
Be Mindful of Wildlife: Idaho is home to various wildlife, including bears, cougars, and moose. Be aware of your surroundings! Follow guidelines for safe hiking in areas with wildlife.
Leave No Trace: Practicing leave no trace principles when hiking in Idaho is important. This means packing out all trash and minimizing your impact on the environment.
Idaho is a hiker’s paradise, with numerous stunning trails and natural wonders. Whether looking for a challenging multi-day trek or a leisurely day hike, Idaho has something to offer everyone. By planning and being prepared for the journey, you can enjoy a safe and successful hiking trip in one of America’s most beautiful states.