Wow. Monday afternoon nudged 70 degrees in Boise on March 2. Makes you think about spring.
For the tip of the week, we flip-flop from powder skiing to some sure-fire spring hikes that should work great in March and April. All of these are within an hour's drive of Boise.
1. Go hiking above Jump Creek Canyon, south of Marsing on Cemetery Road, Owyhee Foothills.
2. Play in the sand at Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park, south of Mountain Home. Video here.
3. Surprise Valley-Oregon Trail Loop in East Boise.
4. Hillside to the Hollow in the Boise Foothills.
5. Hike to Wees Bar on the south side of the Snake River Canyon, starting from Swan Falls Dam (Follow directions on the Wees Bar link to Mountain Biking Idaho, which has a map and description of the 12-mile out-and-back hike). You also could float down there in a raft and take out at Celebration Park.
6. Hike to Halverson Lake, starting from Celebration Park, south of Nampa.
7. Hike the Wilson Creek - Reynolds Creek Loop, including the China Ditch Trail, in the Owyhee Foothills, near Walters Ferry, south of Nampa.
8. Tour Polecat Gulch in the NW Boise Foothills.
9. Scramble up Wilcat Canyon in the Owyhee Foothills. See map above. Beautiful box canyon loop close to home.
10. Do the Jumpin Jeepers Figure 8 Loop in Military Reserve Park, near Fort Boise. See above.
All of these trips are described in detail, with maps, descriptions and photos, in the Boise Trail Guide - 75 Hiking & Running Routes Close to Home by Steve Stuebner, published July 2008.