16 Day Trips From Boise

The capital city of Boise in Idaho is one of the most popular cities in the remote northwestern state of Idaho in the United States. 

It takes its name from Boise River on the banks of which it is situated. The city offers a unique mix of amenities and has all the amenities of a big town city and all the charms of a small town as well.

Since it is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it makes for the perfect location to experience some of the great outdoor activities that Idaho has to offer.

Let us explore some of the best day trips from Boise.

Craters of the Moon, Idaho

Craters of the moon

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a volcanic area and is almost an otherwordly phenomenon. Located east of Boise,  this is a protected area of basalt lava fields that stretches for 600 square miles.

Start by exploring the visitor’s center where guests will find educational exhibits, films, and onsite staff available for questions.

When you head to the Craters of the Moon you will see the land that has black lava spills which have twisted their way over the contours of the land, forming craters. This makes for a surreal scene that is worth photographing.

Guided hikes are also available for the adventurous ones during summer months that range from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours long with varying difficulty.

Distance: 2 hours and 48 minutes 

Ideal for: Adventure seekers

Bogus Basin, Idaho

Bogus Basin

Forty minutes away from the city of Boise, Bogus Basin is an area of high elevation at over 2300 meters. A great place for outdoor recreation and outdoor lovers there are many opportunities here such as mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, disc golf, and skiing.

Winters are a great time to visit and there is a ski resort at the doorstep of the city as well. Families with children can also have a good time as there are opportunities to do wall climbing, trampolines, and visiting the Shafer Butte Mining Company.

In summers, when there is no snow around also it can be a great time to visit the city as you can escape from the heat and cool down here.

Distance: 41 minutes 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Boise National Forest, Idaho

Boise National Forest

Boise National Forest is the largest state forest reserve and spans more than 2.5 million acres. Located northeast of Boise, it is a mix of forest and grassland and features the North Fork Payette River Canyon.

There are many hiking opportunities in the forest along with rivers that offer kayak and rafting opportunities. There are more than 250 lakes and reservoirs in the forest which the visitors can take advantage of.

More than 1.5 million people visit the Boise National Forest annually. Campsites and tents are also available if you want to stay.

If you are here by car, then some of the most epic car drives can be done here to escalate the experience.

Distance: 2 hours and 5 minutes 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

St. Anthony Sand Dunes, Idaho

St Anthony

If you are looking for something unusual, then St. Anthony Sand Dunes is the place to be. They cover more than 10,600 acres of white quartz sand dunes.

They are up to 400 feet high, where visitors can enjoy off-roading, sandboarding, and hiking. These sand dunes shift in the wind and are a great attraction for adrenalin junkies. These are the largest dunes in Idaho and are open seasonally.

There are many facilities at St. Anthony Sand Dunes like 3 parking lots, restrooms, RV dump stations, water stations and more.

Distance: 4 hours and 49 minutes 

Ideal for: Adrenalin junkies

Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho

Sand Dunes

Bruneau Dunes State Park is an exciting outdoor recreation area that is home to the tallest freestanding sand dunes in North America.

Located less than 70 miles away from Boise, these sand dunes span 4800 acres and the highest sand dunes towers at astounding 470 feet. Have fun while sliding down on a board that is available for rent in the park.

Visitors can also do hiking, climbing the sand dunes for a workout, and also rent off-boarding vehicles. 

Distance: 1 hour and 8 minutes 

Ideal for: fun in sand dunes

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

Shoshone

Located northeast of the town of Twin Falls, Shoshone Falls is the largest waterfall in Idaho. It is also referred to as the  “Niagara of the West,” as it is even higher than Niagra Falls itself. 

If you visit on a sunny day, you might be able to spot a rainbow or two forming over the falls which is a beautiful sight to see.

There is a range of facilities at the falls like picturesque hiking trails, a swimming area, boat ramp. The lush areas also make for fantastic picnic areas that can be taken advantage of.

Distance: 2 hours and 11 minutes 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Caldwell, Idaho

Caldwell

Located just 30 minutes away, Caldwell is a bustling town in the Boise Metropolitan area. Home to two colleges and also a stop on the Oregon Trail, Caldwell makes for an excellent day trip from Boise.

There are many festivals that happen here at Caldwell including the Winter Wonderland Festival and Indian Creek Festival. Visitors can also visit the vibrant downtown area to visit some great wineries.

Other attractions include Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History, Whittenberger Planetarium, Babby Farms and more.

Distance: 30 minutes 

Ideal for: Family getaway

Hells Canyon, Idaho

Hells Canyon

Located just three hours away from Boise, Hells Canyon is located along the  Idaho and Oregon border and is worth the drive.

It has the deepest gorge in North America and the Snake River offers outstanding fishing and whitewater rafting opportunities. Hikers and bikers will have a field day here as they are many trails to choose from.

These basalt cliffs are a striking feature and make for a great day trip from Boise as well.

Distance: 39 minutes 

Ideal for: Hikers

City of Rocks, Idaho

City of Rocks

Located in Southern Idaho, City of Rocks is just two and a half hours away from Boise. The entire area is full of rocks and hence termed as the City of Rocks.

It is a 14,407-acre National Reserve in the southern part of the Albion Mountains and makes for an excellent day trip from Boise. Outdoor lovers can spend their time hiking, camping and rock climbing here.

You can also visit the nearby Castle Rocks State Park is located in the Almo historic village.

Distance: 2 hours and 30 minutes 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Idaho City, Idaho

Idaho City

The historic town of Idaho City is the gateway to the Sawtooth Mountains and makes for a fantastic day trip from Boise. This was one of the largest cities during the gold rush and now is a quaint city that attracts many tourists.

This rugged western town is rich in mining as well as logging. Home to around 500 residents, there are still plenty of antique saloons and stores to explore.

Take a walk on the traditional wooden sidewalk and explore artifacts in the Boise Basin Museum. 

Distance: 54 minutes 

Ideal for: Family getaway

Idaho Wine Country, Idaho

Idaho Wine Country

Wine connoisseurs can have a lovely time at Idaho Wine Country. They have some of the largest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest with elevations up to 3,000 feet. 

Plus the soils made up of volcanic ash are fertile for growing grapes. This valley is known for creating wines that have high acidity and concentrated flavors. 

There are more than 50 vineyards currently in Idaho Wine Country and most of them are located in the Snake River Valley and Eagle Foothills.

Visitors can book a full-day trip from Boise of Idaho Wine Country.

Distance: 5 minutes 

Ideal for: Wine connoisseurs

Nampa, Idaho

Nampa

Nampa is the second-largest city in Idaho after Boise. Located just half an hour away in Wine Country, Nampa makes for an excellent day trip from Boise.

Nampa started as a simple railroad town but it has now grown into a larger metropolis. Visitors can attend concerts, visit golf courses or enjoy some serenity by the lake.

Also, visit the Nampa Farmers  Market featuring booths with local goodies from the shops downtown. 

Distance: 23 minutes 

Ideal for: Relaxing getaway

Meridian, Idaho

Meridan

Idaho’s third-largest city, Meridian is part of the Boise Metropolitan Area. Making for a fantastic trip from Boise, there are lots of family-friendly options for fun and entertainment.

Start with some shopping at the boutiques or take advantage of an array of dining opportunities. Families can have a great time at Wahooz Family Fun Zone mini-golf, Roaring Springs Waterpark or Linder Farms.

Adventurous tourists can head to the nearby Lake Harbor for a hot air balloon ride.

Distance: 15 minutes 

Ideal for: Family getaway

Silver City, Idaho

Silver City

Silver City is an old mining town that did not become commercialized due to which visitors can still travel back in time when they visit this city.

Here you can enjoy horseback rides through the Owyhee Mountains too. Visitors can roam around souvenir and book shops where you can browse through art or souvenirs.

Roam around the more than 75 historical structures still standing from the late 19th century. 

Distance: 2 hours

Ideal for: Historic getaway

Snake River Canyon, Idaho

Snake River

Located with Twin Falls, Snake River Canyon runs for over 50 miles. It is blessed with dozens of springs and beautiful waterfalls.

This area was made famous when  Evel Knievel attempted to jump the canyon on a modified motorcycle attached to a rocket in 1974.

Visitors can walk to the Perinne Bridge which is where the incident happened. This place is also the only bridge in the United States that is open all year round for BASE jumping. 

Distance: 1 hour and 59 minutes

Ideal for: Fun getaway

Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho

Sawtooth

This beautiful and pristine forest comprises 756,000 acres of the forest and features more than 700 miles of hiking trails. Needless to say, this makes for a fantastic getaway from the busy Boise.

Visitors can hike or bike, explore alpine lakes, climb mountain peaks that stand more than 10,000 feet high. 

Spend your time kayaking, boating, swimming, mountain biking, canoeing, rafting or anything else that catches your fancy outside. 

Distance: 3 hours and 11 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Conclusion

Boise is blessed with so many things to do, but so is the state of Idaho. From the otherworldy Craters of the Moon to the pristine Shoshone Falls, there are many day trips that you can take from Boise. 

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