Thursday, March 25, 2010

Boise Foothills low-elevation trails are in great shape

Top of Shane's Loop

Bucktail near Shane's Jct.

Boise B's climbing Hulls

The B's climbing Corrals

Corrals - Hulls Loop (click on map to enlarge)

Jumpin' Jeepers Figure 8 Loop
Sunny skies are forecast for the weekend with temperatures in the 60s, so it should be a great time to head into the lower portion of the Boise Foothills for a hike, run or bike ride.

Because of the rain on Thursday and Friday, you should wait until Saturday afternoon for things to dry out. Check on the latest trail conditions on the Ridge to Rivers trail system web site.

I'm recommending two loops for this weekend:

1. Corrals - Hulls Gulch Loop - 9.2 miles w/shuttle to the Corrals trailhead for hikers and runners; 13 miles starting and finishing at Camelsback Park, 13th and Heron, in North Boise. See map above for details.

Travel time: 4 hours hiking; 2 hours running (I run slow); 1-2 hours mountain biking

Experience: It's an easy-going moderate climb to Corrals Summit and the 8th Street parking lot. Then, it's a fun rock slalom downhill in Hulls Gulch back to to Camelsback.

: Great view of downtown Boise from Corrals Summit; creekside bird-watching possible along Crane Gulch and Hulls Gulch; primo gradient for hiking, running or mountain biking.

2. Jumpin' Jeepers Figure 8 loop - 6.75 miles. Start and finish in Military Reserve Park by Fort Boise in East Boise. See map above for details.

Travel time
: 2.5-3 hours hiking; 1:15 running; 1+ hour mountain biking

: This is a neat figure-eight route made possible by Bucktail and Central Ridge trails and Shane's Trail. It's a long gradual climb on Central Ridge and Bucktail Trails before you scale Shane's to the top, and then a really fast and fun twisting singletrack ride back to the start.

Highlights: Nice views from Shane's Summit and some of sweetest buttery singletrack sections in Boise.

During the next 30-45 days, the Boise Foothills will be subject to lots of rain, meaning that trails can get muddy after those storms. It's important to stay off the trails until they dry out. Please use common sense and go on a road ride or a Greenbelt cruise when conditions are wet.

Another good source of information for Boise Foothills trail conditions is the Boise Front Trails Yahoo Group. Go to this link to join the group and get regular updates on trail conditions.

Have fun and tread lightly!
- SS