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Boise Foothills trail

Best of Boise: Trail Running in the City

Boise has trails for any runner in any season, thanks to an extensive network that begins within the city.

Trail Running Easy, Moderate

Boise Foothills trail
Boise Foothills trail Photo: Shutterstock


Poised at the edge of the plains and the foot of the mountains, Boise is a runners’ city. With a flat urban grid, a river greenbelt, hilly neighborhoods, and expansive trails, Boise offers all kinds of runs to choose from. Trail runners especially will find a haven here, thanks to the abundance of smooth dirt track twisting outward and upward from the city.

The trails are found in pockets throughout the lower foothills, then expand into a more continuous network in the upper foothills. This creates options for nicely contained loops close to town or limitless forays farther away. It also allows for running in all seasons, with the higher elevations offering summer respite and the lower staying largely accessible all year. The only issue might be muddy conditions, which occur during winter and spring. The clay soils of the foothills are highly erodible, so the trail tread and vegetation are easily damaged when wet. Runners should strive for dry or frozen conditions in order to limit impact.

This guidebook shows some of the best runs in the area, of varying distance and difficulty. From this selection, you can surely find a run to fit any schedule and during any time of year. Simply tap on a trail for more details, and explore the map to see more that you could link together. You can also find more information and current trail reports at Ridge to Rivers online.

Routes included

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