Quick hike in the foothills near downtown, with striking geology and sweeping views of the city.


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Eagle Rock (also known as Castle Rock) is a volcanic outcrop above Boise’s East End, forming a dramatic balcony in the foothills overlooking the city.

It’s part of an urban recreation area called Chief Eagle Eye Reserve, named after a leader of Northern Shoshone people who once lived nearby, but were forced to reservations in the 19th century.

Eagle Rock is the translated name they gave to this stand-out formation.

The Eagle Rock Loop is a great hike for families or for anyone seeking a quick outing near the city, and it grants a tantalizing preview of the many hiking opportunities near Boise. Eagle Rock is close to Boise’s better-known Table Rock, and these popular hikes begin from the same trailhead at the Old Penitentiary.

Abundant trails provide various options for loops.

The one mapped here utilizes Quarry Trail plus two trails named after Native tribes of the region.

The hike is not long, but has some steep and rocky sections.

An aerobic climb takes you rapidly up a grassy ridgeline, dotted with sagebrush and juniper, and studded with boulders.

You’ll pass by some houses and share their grand view over the city, then reach the promontory of Eagle Rock.

Complete the loop by following the trail down to the edge of the city, and returning to the parking lot. Note: The clay-rich soils here are highly erodible, so the trails are easily damaged when muddy.

The city may actually close these trails at certain times, but you should always avoid them when wet conditions make the surface unstable.

Save this hike for a clear and dry day, when you’ll get maximum enjoyment from firm trails and vast views. Sources: https://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/hiking/article229319274.html https://www.ridgetorivers.org/trails/detailed-area-descriptions/table-rock-area/