10 outdoor activities in Boise for some summer fun

Float the River

Floating the river is one of the most popular summer activities for students. The starting point for most river floaters is Barber Park, located six miles from downtown Boise on Eckert Rd.  If you do not have a raft available it is not a problem.  Elpey’s Boise River Rentals is available for rat and inner tube rentals in Barber Park.  Free air stations are also available of you have a floating device of your own.

 

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens provide visitors with a picturesque scene of nature featuring both native and exotic plants.  Features of the garden include an assortment of plant communities, themes and displays associated with the gardens, and a range of education programs.  The State of Idaho leases 33 acres for the Gardens; currently 15 acres are under cultivation.  The Gardens are located at 2355 Old Penitentiary off of Warm Springs Rd.

 

Hike Table Rock

There are many hikes in Boise, but one of the hot spots is the hike up table rock.  Parking is accessible next to the old penitentiary near the Botanical Gardens and two trailheads follow, both ending at the same destination.  This hike is a popular destination because of the beautiful view of the city from the top, as well as the ever-recognizable cross that defines Table Rock.

 

Climb at the black cliffs

The Black Cliffs are located just east of Boise on highway 21. Most of the routes are on the north side of the river, with a few advanced routes on the south side.  You do not need to be an expert climber in order to climb the cliffs, there are many available routes for beginners.  Parking is a five-minute walking distance from the cliffs.  Gear rental is available in the Outdoor Program.

 

Water activities at Lucky Peak

Lucky peak has three distinct parks available for public access.  Discovery Park is a hot spot for picnics with three shelters that can be reserved in advance.  Sandy Point is located at the base of Lucky Peak Dam and is well know for its sandy beaches.  Spring Shores, the third park, is more popular for those looking to get out on the water, providing two boat ramps, parking, a fell-service marina, on-site rentals, and a convenience store.

 

Golfing at Warm Springs

Hitting the links is a popular summer pastime, but even better in Boise with more daylight hours.  Warm Springs is an 18-hole golf course with a driving range facility as well as putting and chipping practice greens.  Twilight rates are offered after 2:30pm, a small range bucket is $4 and an upgrade to a large is $6.

 

White water rafting in the Payette River

If you are an adrenaline junkie and love the water then white water rafting is where it’s at.  The Payette River will provide an adventure for all who embark on a journey down its slippery slope.  Orientations on campus also offer extended family and student rafting trips.  The Outdoor Program hosts rafting trips during the school year, as well.

 

Slacklining 

The parks in Boise have many trees and naturally this means an excellent opportunity for slackling.  Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses one inch nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points.  It requires focus, strength, concentration, and is the best kind of workout.  More importantly, it’s a great way to get out and test your balance.

 

Disc golf in Ann Morrison Park

Ann Morrison Park is located across Capitol and features a disc golf course that includes 20 holes of challenging play in the summer.  For those who are unaware, disc golf is a flying disc game where individuals throw a flying disc, similar to a Frisbee, at a target.

 

Visit the zoo in Julia Davis Park

Occasionally when walking along the green belt you will see a rare glimpse of a giraffe’s head.  This is no coincidence, as Julia Davis Park has a zoo that features Magellanic penguins, Amur tigers, Red pandas and many more animals.  It is only $7 for admission.

About the author  ⁄ Nikki Hanson

Nikki Hanson