Idaho January 02, 2020
8 Cool And Calming Hikes To Take In Idaho To Help You Reflect On The Year Ahead
Even for the most diehard outdoor enthusiasts, getting out on the trail during wintertime can be a challenging task. However, those who do muster up the courage to brave the winter elements are usually rewarded with amazing scenery and some unforgettable memories. It definitely helps that Idaho is home to a ton of great winter hiking trails. From short jaunts through the woods to breathtaking mountaintop adventures, we compiled a list of some cool and calming hikes to check out this season. Make it your resolution to tackle some of these in the year ahead!
1. Blue Creek Trail, Coeur d'Alene
If you're on the hunt this winter for a brief jaunt that still offers plenty of gorgeous scenery, the Blue Creek Trail is a great choice. Leading you through the Wallace Forest Conservation Area, the trail's scenery is especially spectacular during wintertime. And at just 2.6-miles long, it's perfect for families and casual hikers.
2. Stargaze Point Trail via Beaver Creek Summit, Garden Valley
At 2.9-miles long, the Stargaze Point Trail is a popular snowshoeing destination in the Boise National Forest. You'll start at the Beaver Creek parking lot and hike along a well-marked trail to Stargaze Point, which sits at a breathtaking elevation of 6,682-feet. This trail is rated as moderate with an elevation gain of 800-feet, but the view is worth it!
3. Fourth of July Summit Loop, Cataldo
As one of the most beloved snowshoeing destinations in the state, this area is packed with an expansive network of groomed trails that are well-maintained throughout the winter season. The trek to Fourth of July Summit is particularly mesmerizing, leading you deep into the snowy wooded landscape on the 5.1-mile trail.
4. Payette Lake Peninsula Trail, McCall
Payette Lake is a real beauty during the wintertime and this short and sweet trail is perfect for experiencing it. At four miles long, the trail starts at the Activity Center parking lot before leading you along the western side of the peninsula. Just keep in mind that the park and this trail are open to snowshoers and skiers only during the winter season.
5. West Highland Valley Trail, Boise
Winter is prime time for exploring the foothills just outside of Boise, Idaho. Whereas the lack of shade can make a hike through the foothills unbearable during the summer, winter boasts incredible scenery for as far as the eye can see. The West Highland Valley Trail is 5.7-miles long and rated as moderate due to the elevation gain of 1,423-feet.
6. Crooked River Trail, Idaho City
If you're looking for something more remote, then the Crooked River Trail won't disappoint. This 7-mile out-and-back trail perfectly highlights the quiet tranquility of the Boise National Forest during wintertime. By far one of the best things about the trail is seeing the river completely frozen over!
7. Snowshoe Hare Loop, Boise
Another great snowshoeing spot, the Snowshoe Hare Loop was once an old logging road but is now a treasured hiking spot that boasts an excellent snowy landscape. With little elevation gain and at only three miles long, it makes for a great trail to tackle on any winter day.
8. Upper Falls Community Forest, Post Falls
A trail doesn't have to be super long and difficult in order to pack a punch, as the Upper Falls Community Forest Trail has certainly proven. This brief 3.3-mile trail boasts terrific scenery from beginning to end, eventually leading you to a wonderful view of the Spokane River.
What do you think? What’s your favorite winter hiking trail in Idaho? Let us know in the comments. Check out some more winter adventures with this list of
10 Picturesque Trails In Idaho That Are Perfect For Winter Hiking.