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Cottonwood Creek Loop

Short and easy hike among prairie and forest near a little creek.

Hiking Easy

2.4 km
29 m
29 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
848 m
High Point
872 m
Cottonwood Creek Loop Map

Located in the Military Reserve near downtown Boise, this loop is very accessible and offers something year round for any type of hiker. It's a relatively smooth trail with very little elevation gain, and it explores a handful of different habitats in a sheltered valley.


You'll see sagebrush prairie on the hillsides as well as lush forest beside the creek. There are orange sandstone cliffs pocked with tiny caves, and views up toward the mountains in the background. Late spring and summer come with shifting wildflower displays, and in fall the trees show off their flair.

Cottonwood Creek flows with water for much of the year, making a crucial water source and unique habitat for wildlife. Keep watch for quail, raptors, rabbits, deer, and other residents. Also look for the little waterfall on the creek near the trailhead.

This hike is good at any time of year, as long as it's not muddy. Even in the heat of summer the trees provide some shade, but it's best to come early or late in the day when the sun is less intense.



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area