Boise’s hidden outdoor treasure: Bob’s Trail

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Boise’s outdoor scene might be best known for its prolific mountain biking trails scattered across the city’s many hillsides, but the hiking trails are equally spectacular. During a recent visit to Boise, a friend introduced me to a trailhead tucked into a neighborhood close to the Crane Creek Country Club. I believe the area is one of those “you don’t know about it unless someone tells you about it” kind of places. Bob’s Trail is short (just over 3 miles), but the scenery is both calming and much less populated than trails in the vicinity.

Distance: 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Medium Light (periodic inclines, but mostly very gradual)
Getting There: Start heading up Bogus Basin Road and take a right on W Curling Drive (right by the school, at the stop sign).  Take your first left, onto E Braemere Road, and then a left onto Hearthstone Drive.  Follow Hearthstone to the end of the cul-de-sac and find your parking spot. The trailhead on your right is Bob’s trail.

This trail is also very popular among mountain bikers, so take caution coming around those bends.

This trail is also very popular among mountain bikers, so take caution coming around those bends.

Unlike many hikes I usually enjoy, this one rests at the bottom of a narrow ravine, which is well shaded in the morning, but is very exposed in the afternoon. The lush green hills are occasionally cloaked by clouds’ shade and offers a dramatic view. I’d categorize this as medium effort due to the occasional inclines, but think anyone who walks often could master the trail pretty easily. I had a fun geology lesson along the trail, learning that the shiny specs in the soil were not slug trails (can you tell I’m from the PNW?), but are mica minerals historically used to produce window glass. The fine mineral is shimmery, opaque and relatively easy to reproduce.

Mica

Mica flecks are all over the trail

Make your way to the intersection with Corrals Trail, and then you can take the extra long way back along Corral, or about face and return on Bob’s Trail.

A few words of caution:

  • This is a popular and narrow mountain biking trail, so be on the lookout for bikes whipping around a corner unexpectedly.
  • When hiking in the early afternoon, make sure to douse yourself with sunscreen and bring a hat. Otherwise, you’ll be nursing a serious sunburn for a few days. Not speaking from personal experience or anything…
  • The trail is a natural reserve and staying on the trail is strictly enforced. Stay on the trail!
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