Boise Base Camp: 5 Incredible Adventures Near Idaho's Capital

Hot springs, rivers, hiking, and great beer. What more could you ask for?

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Boise, Idaho is home to a vibrant community of outdoor lovers, several of Idaho's finest breweries, and an active local arts scene. Combine that with the fact that a short drive out of this energetic city will lead you to some of the most untouched wilderness in the West and you’ve got a recipe for an unbeatable weekend destination. Better yet, your next hometown. Whether you’re ready for an extended stay or just need an escape from the routine, you better head to Boise ASAP and discover what we’re talking about for yourself.

1. Explore the South Fork of the Boise River

Photo: Dusty Klein

The South Fork of the Boise River is one of the most unique landscapes in Idaho and has a ton of options for whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for. Drive just over an hour from Boise and have an evening campfire, sunrise hike, or stay the night for an epic camping trip. Learn more.

2. Hike the Bruneau Sand Dunes

Photo: Sarah Sheehy

You probably wouldn’t guess that the tallest single structure sand dune in America was in Idaho, but guess again. Only 470 feet elevation gain to the top seems like a breeze, right? The fine grain sand will keep you entertained (and test your patience) on the way up. Learn more.

3. Camp at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs

Photo: Dusty Klein

Idaho is an under-the-radar haven for hot springs. Located right on the bed of the Payette River and with multiple pools of varying temperature, Rocky Canyon Hot Springs are particularly amazing. Learn more.

4. Hike or Ride to Stack Rock

Photo: Dusty Klein

Whether you prefer to explore on two feet or on two wheels, the trail to to Stack Rock is not to be missed on your visit to Boise. You’ll find some of the best views of the area and earn yourself a cold beer in town after. Learn more.

5. Soak in Kirkham Hot Springs

Photo: Dusty Klein

More hot springs? Yup, more hot springs. We did say that Idaho is a haven for these things, right? Kirkham Hot Springs is just one more to add to the list and is just as fun in the winter as it is in the summer. Learn more.

Get more information on these adventures and others around Idaho at Visit Idaho.

Cover photo: Dusty Klein

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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