We live in the middle of nature’s playground. We are surrounded by so many adventures just waiting to be taken. Whether you want to take a hike with a friend or your family, we’ve got you covered. We highly suggest taking the right safety precautions and checking with your doctor before attempting any of these hikes.

Caves Trail

Arco

Level: Easy
Distance: .7 mile point to point
Elevation: Relatively flat, total decrease of 38′

You can see three lava caves on this paved trail in the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, most of which runs over pahoehoe lava. They are Dewdrop Cave, Boy Scout Cave, and Beauty Cave. The Indian Tunnel Trail starts near Dewdrop Cave.  Boy Scout Cave which is technically a tunnel that has closed in the middle. Beauty Cave is at the end of the trail and is sparkly from water drops inside. All are open for subterranean exploration, though all visitors first need a free permit, obtainable at the entrance station. Don’t forget a flashlight. Bonus: Bat Cave is just another 20 feet north of the last paved turn.

Devils Orchard Trail

Arco

Level: Easy
Distance: .5 mile loop
Elevation:13′ Change

This is a popular, paved path at Craters of the Moon. It winds through ash hills, lava outcrops, and areas where bushes and limber pines have been established. Interpretive signs, along the way, describe some of the environmental “issues” affecting this delicate landscape which can be good lessons to learn with your children.

Snow Cone Trail

Arco

Level: Easy
Distance: 132′, very short
Elevation:2′ increase

This trail can be found not far from the parking lot of the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. It is a connector trail and can be hiked in both directions.

Broken Top Trail

Arco

Level: Intermediate
Distance:1 mile point to point
Elevation: Increase 119′ then Decrease at halfway point 147′

The loop trail around Broken Top, which is a tall cone covered in foliage can be in the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. This trail gives you access to The Big Sink Overlook Trail and ends at a junction with the Wilderness Trail just east of the Buffalo Caves.
The caves have three basic levels and can be followed underground. The ceilings are low with tight squeezes and some sections are closed. To make the loop, go west on Wilderness Trail until you rejoin this trail which follows the road.

Inferno Cone Trail

Arco

Level: Intermediate
Distance: .2 mile from base to top of hill
Elevation: 127′ increase

The Inferno Cone is a hill of black cinders and ash. The summit may be reached by a short trail which can be a bit more difficult than it looks. It might take more effort than it looks like to climb the steep gradient, take your time and watch your footing. Once at the top, you can see the surrounding craters and lava flows.

Tree Molds Trail

Arco

Level: Easy to Intermediate
Distance: 1.6 miles point to point
Elevation:Initial 59′ climb followed by Decrease of 136′

The hike in the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a mostly flat trail where you will cross ashen plains, quite overgrown, along the east edge of a large pahoehoe flow. At least eight tree molds were formed when live trees were enclosed by flowing lava and later decomposed and blew away leaving the molds.

North Crater Trail

Arco

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 3.50 mile
Elevation: 14′ total increase

Mostly flat loop that is very short and great for small kids. There are informative signs along the way.

Craters of the Moon Visitors Center Trail

Arco

Level: Easy
Distance: .3 mile point to point
Elevation: 35′ increase

This National Park and Monument area is full of great hikes and places to explore. This specific hike is very easy and is a great one for the whole family.

Mesa Falls

Ashton

Level: Easy
Distance: .5 loop Upper Falls | 1.25 out and back Nature Trail
Elevation: boardwalk – stairs 3-4 flights | nature trail – flat

Upper Mesa: Check out the Visitor’s Center. There is an overlook as well. Try the Five 11 Diner in Ashton following your hike for ice cream and old fashioned soda fountain. Upper Falls has a wood boardwalk and stairs. Lower Falls is a dirt nature trail.

Yellowstone/Grand Teton Rail Trail

Ashton

Level: Easy
Distance: 30.8 miles point to point
Elevation:Increase 1,131′

This trail is part of the Idaho State Park and Recreational Trailway system. It is composed of three sections you can hike with miles of highway, forest service roads, and farm roads connecting the three. You will see wooded areas, the Teton Mountain Range, and farmland along this hike.

Hell's Half Acre

Blackfoot

Level: Easy
Distance: 1 mile loop
Elevation: Increase by 45′

This loop can be found behind the southbound rest stop off of the interstate between Firth and Blackfoot. It is a moderately trafficked loop and is good for all skill levels. It offers scenic views and is accessible year-round. 

Big Cottonwood Creek Trail

Burley

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 6 miles point to point
Elevation: Increases 900′ on your way up the trail and then decreases 900′ on your way back down.

This trail is easy to hike up at first but eventually turns into tight switchbacks and more rugged terrain farther in.

Mt. Borah

Challis

Level: Extremely Advanced
Distance: 3.9 miles point to point
Elevation: 5,087′ Increase

Do not attempt this hike unless you are an experienced hiker and in good health. This hike requires various hiking equipment depending on the time of year. Please do your research before attempting this hike by reading experiences from others here and here.

Buttars Spring

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 1.6 miles point to point
Elevation: Increase 405′

The trail begins at the Harrington Fork Picnic area, where there is a set of pit toilets in an interesting stone building. The trail moves gradually up the canyon, with very little shade. There is lots of vegetation on the trail and it crosses a creek bed many times which may have water. This trail is used by dirt bikers as well as cattle. It is not very busy and has cool rock formations.

Third Fork/Wahlstrom Hollow Loop

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 9.3 mile loop
Elevation: Increase by 1770′ then decrease the final 1/3 by 1770

This trail goes along the third fork of Rock Creek and loops back to the Third Fork Campground. Starting out, you’ll hike along Rock Creek and beaver bonds with mountains surrounding. Heading back north, about halfway through the loop, you will be hiking through aspen trees and possibly some snow starting around the end of October.
Coming back around as the loop turns to the north, there are three gradual switchbacks that can wear you out if you don’t pace yourself. They are not too steep, however, and the view from the top is gorgeous. After the switchbacks, it is a few downhill miles to pick up the pace and finish your hike back at the campground.

Rim View Trail

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 10.5 miles
Elevation: From beginning point to end point the elevation drops by 2400′ with some small uphills climbs along the way.

Starting at the southern trailhead, this trail heads north through the desert before dipping into the woods. The trail goes mostly downhill with one or two short and mild climbs. There are two small stream crossings on the trail which are generally where you’ll find the climbs as well. After May, these streams are pretty easily jumped across.

Harrington Fork Trail

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 9 miles point to point
Elevation: Increase 2450′ first 80% then decrease 550′ last 20%

This trail begins at the Harrington Fork Picnic area, where there is a set of pit toilets in a stone building. The trail moves gradually up the canyon, with not much shade. You will encounter many varieties of vegetation.

You will cross a creek bed several times, which has water in the spring—and maybe through part of summer—but it usually dries by mid-summer. There are a few springs here and there that fill the creek bed with some water year round. There are also many interesting rock formations throughout the canyon. You may come across some dirt bikes as they are allowed on this trail too. The land around the trail is used as range land for cattle, so you’ll likely see cattle in the summer time. Be respectful. Since it is range land, there is a gate you’ll have to go through; make sure you leave the gate as you found it. The trail connects with NF Road 140 at the top of the canyon. From there, you can go higher into the back country by taking the road going south.

Pikes Mountain Trail

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 4.8 miles point to point
Elevation: Increase by 700 on first 1/3 then decrease by 876′ on last 2/3

The trail begins at the large parking area by Diamondfield Jack Campground. The trail switches back and forth, slowly climbing a ridge. Once you gain the ridge, you will have amazing views of the surrounding area. You’ll continue northward, following the ridgeline. At one point, the trail intersects with the Pike Mountain Road, and you’ll head right/northeast while the road goes to the left, to the summit of Pike Mountain. The views from the top make it worth the climb. The trail descends the north face of Pike, and intersects with Trail Canyon Trail #241 which drops into the Little Fork Trail #163. The Pike Mountain Trail continues north, along the ridge. It enters a nice forest, and again heads northeast. You’ll cross a road that heads northwest, but you’ll want to stay on the narrow track to stay on this path. The trail ends at the A-H Creek Trail #167 and Wahlstrom Hollow Trail #238. At that point, you can descend into Third Fork or go down Wahlstrom Hollow and look at the beaver ponds.

Little Fork Trail

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 2.4 miles point to point
Elevation: Decrease 852′

The trail begins at a large parking area at Porcupine Springs Campground. The trail accesses the headwaters of Little Fork, which is officially known as the Little Fork of the Third Fork of Rock Creek (quite a mouthful!) but all the signage refers to the stream as Little Fork. The trail offers spurs to Trail Canyon Trail #241 and Third Fork Rock Creek Trail #004, providing trail users with ample opportunities to explore deep into the forests of the South Hills. At one point, the trail weaves through a narrow rocky canyon, which is interesting to see. 

Telephone Canyon Trail

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance:8.6 miles point to point
Elevation: Multiple up and down with a total increase of 1054′

This is a fantastic shared-use trail that provides users with excellent mountain views, fresh smelling pine forests, and plentiful flora and fauna. The trail begins at Porcupine Campground, and heads east, albeit in a very crooked way. This trail was part of the old Oakley-Rogerson road that traversed the South Hills. This was the old wagon route the Forest Service maintained for a long time, and as such it is never very steep. The route crosses several drainages, providing access to water in the early summer. Most of the streams in this area run dry by fall.

Trout Creek

Hansen

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 5.1 miles point to point
Elevation:1400′ decrease with one small increase of 133′

The trail begins on the north end at Forest Road 533, which spurs off of FR 538, the main road in the area. The trail descends into Trout Creek Canyon, and follows the creek, crossing it several times as you head southward down the canyon. In the upper reaches of the canyon, the forest is largely made of aspen groves. As you go farther south, you run through pines. Later on, the vegetation thins out, and you are in scrub land. At the bottom of the canyon, the road moves up and out of the canyon to connect with Forest Road 536, which either heads north to Trout Creek Pass, or south, going farther down Trout Creek.

Stinking Spring Canyon ATV Trail

Heise/Ucon

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 3.9 miles point to point
Elevation: 1.520′ up and 9′ down

This trail is the less-fun neighbor to Sidewinder. From where it begins down the road from the parking area, the wide double track climbs through the canyon to an intersection with the Sidewinder Connector in a little over two miles. From there, it continues to snake through the clumps of grass on the open hillside until a series of steep and closely packed switchbacks brings the double track up the ridgeline. After a half mile of climbing, the trail ends at Leaning Fir #169.

Sidewinder Trail

Heise

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 2.7 point to point
Elevation: 811′ Increase and 12′ Decrease

The Sidewinder Trail connects to a network of ATV trails that go all over the area. Once you run into the first ATV trail you may want to follow it instead of this trail since the trail is starting to get overgrown a little; just be careful of the ATVs and motorcycles. The motorized vehicles should yield to you, but they may not see you around a corner with enough time to stop. There are no facilities at the trailhead other than a large parking area and a loading ramp for ATVs. There is a pizza place and a small convenience store a few miles away at Heise Hot Springs.

Big Elk Creek

Irwin

Level: Easy
Distance: 10.2 miles
Elevation: 977′

Dogs and horses are welcome on this simple trail that is near a lake and a stream. Good for all skill levels. Trails starts out wide but will narrow.

Waterfall Canyon Trail

Irwin

Level: Advanced
Distance: 5 miles point to point
Elevation: 2, 173′ increase

This trail is an incredible journey into the back country of the Palisades area. Waterfall Canyon connects the Palisades Lakes to Little Elk Creek and other trails/peaks. The highlight of this trail is the main waterfall (the pond the waterfall feeds is shown on most maps). The water is clean if you are willing to cross the pond and climb up to the waterfall. If you hit the canyon early enough in the year, you’ll see multiple waterfalls through the canyon. There are steep cliffs on both sides of most of this canyon. The climb out of the back of the canyon is a challenge. There is almost always snow somewhere in this canyon year round. Early summer will mean snow and creek crossings.

Lower Palisades Lake Trail

Irwin

Level: Easy/Intermediate
Distance: 4.3 miles point to point
Elevation: 898′ increase on hilly terrain

This is an easy hike that can be done any time of the year. The snow stays compacted on the trail during the winter with all the winter use, and the only major obstacle is during the spring melt and dealing with wet shoes. This is a great option for new hikers or hikers looking for a scenic, easy outing.

East Gate Trail

Island Park

Level: Easy
Distance: 1.2 miles point to point
Elevation: None

Old road turned trail still has the all-important bridge connecting to Big Bend Loop Trail. Start at Highway 20 or come in from the Bing Lempke Trail.

Binge Lempke Trail

Island Park

Level: Easy
Distance: 1.5 miles point to point
Elevation: Generally flat with 12′ increase

Easy, flat trail from Last Chance Fisherman
Access to the East Gate Trail.

Targhee Creek Trail

Island Park

Level: Easy/Intermediate
Distance: 5 miles point to point
Elevation: 2, 147′ increase

Traveling from the Idaho side and just passing Henry’s Lake, you’ll not believe this trail exists until you hike it. This is a great single track trail as you meander up the canyon through the pine trees and across small bridges. The total distance of this trail, one-way, is just over 6 miles. The creek is a river in June and turns to a trickle by the end of the summer. Early in the summer, you’ll cross Targhee Creek multiple times and your shoes will get wet. This is the turnaround point or if you have not had enough, a crossroads onto endless trails. If you want to see Clark Lake it is only another quarter mile to the northeast on the Continental Divide Trail. You’ll see a smaller unnamed lake prior to it on your right. Clark is on the left and the epitome of what a high mountain Idaho lake is like.

Golden Lake Loop Trail

Island Park

Level: Easy
Distance: 1.9 miles point to point
Elevation:

Fun, short, easy loop up Thurmon Creek to the dam and down the other side of the valley.

Big Bend Loop Trail

Island Park

Level: Easy
Distance: 4.6 mile loop
Elevation: Increase and decrease of 83′

Mostly flat, this is a loop trail skirting the Henry’s Fork at Big Bend. It does go by the foothills for a while as well.

Warm Springs Trail

Ketchum

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 8.7 miles point to point
Elevation: 2,463′ decrease

The trail is a great downhill hike (taking the lift makes this a great option if you want a great hike without 3,200′ of climbing!). The trail is mostly smooth, with a few rocky sections but nothing severe. However, if you want a long day (and and early morning to boot), as a climb, this trail begins at the warm springs base area out Warm Springs Road.

Bald Mountain Trail

Ketchum

Level: Advanced
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation: 3,229′

This hike can be found to the right of the River Run express chair lift past the River Run Plaza which is a Sun Valley ski lift base area. The trail follows along the Big Wood River before switch backing up the sides of a heavily wooded, shady valley. You will hike up grass covered hillsides to the wooden overlook platform and through trees. Use caution when crossing the two downhill bike runs (Traverse Trail and Saddle-Up Trail). In the summer months the chairlift runs, so a popular option for hikers and runners is going up the Bald Mountain Trail for a workout and then riding the lift down to save wear on the knees. Alternately, ride the lift up and hike/run down for a more mellow journey.

Menan Butte

Menan

Level: Easy
Distance: 3.4 miles
Elevation: 964′ increase

Menan Butte Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Menan, Idaho that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Phantom Falls

Oakley

Level: Easy
Distance: 3 miles out and back
Elevation: 528′

This trail is not well maintained but the waterfall at the end makes it worth it when it is at it’s peak flow. The road to get to the trailhead is quite bumpy and deters many making it not a highly trafficked area.

Cone Trail

Pocatello

Level: Easy
Distance: .3 miles point to point
Elevation: down then up 23′

This short trail features smooth footing with a couple of small embedded rocks. An easy route, this trail rolls nicely along the hillside. It’s a great link up between the City Creek corridor and the Eagle/The Grove trails. There’s no real signage to delineate when one trail ends and the other begins, so keep an eye out or bring the Hiking Project mobile app with you to keep yourself oriented.

Sterling Justice

Pocatello

Level: Advanced
Distance: 6.6 miles point to point
Elevation: Gradual increase of 700′ then a slightly quicker decline of 1,044′

This is a newly built connector between Cusick Creek and Gibson Jack with great views of Pocatello and the surrounding hills. This can easily be joined with numerous options on the City Creek Trails side to get in a longer outing.The trail starts with a significant climb on either end with moderate grades. The Cusick Creek side has a number of switchbacks that can be fun when traveled either direction. The middle section of the trail maintains a fairly steady elevation with a few short steep sections. The trail offers some great views as it is cut into the side of some steeper slopes. There are also a few groves which you pass through in the drainages between hills which gives variety.

Cress Creek Trail

Rigby/Heise

Level: Easy/Intermediate
Distance: 1.3 loop
Elevation: 252′ increase

This popular trail near Heise is managed by BLM. There are information cards along the trail which are fun for kids to learn from. The first part of the trail is paved which makes it accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The trail is not shaded except near the creek where there are many mature trees. This is a fun area to play and relax. There are bridges over every area where the creek passes through the trail so no one has to get wet.  There are also benches and picnic tables along the way. The view from the top over the valley below is beautiful. There is a restroom in the parking lot.

Hawley Gulch Upper

Rigby

Level: Intermediate
Distance: 1.4 point to point
Elevation: 21′ Increase and 398′ Decrease

The trail begins at the backside of the parking lot. Go through the fence and turn to your left. The trail will take you to a small meadow area before climbing to the top of a small ridge and dropping you back into the trees.

Scenic Overlook Loop

Rigby

Level: Easy
Distance: 0.8 Loop
Elevation: 127′ Increase

This short but scenic trail is great for all hiking levels. A great hike to do as a family with access near the parking area and not steep terrain.

 

Adams Gulch

Sun Valley

Level: Advanced
Distance: 4.3 miles point to point
Elevation: 2,053′ decrease

This trail climbs above the more popular trails close to town and takes you high into the mountains overlooking Sun Valley. The lower part can be crowded on busy summer days, but once past Griffin Butte Connector, the crowds thin out and the trail begins to take on a more rustic feel.The climb is slow and steady and will cross some technical talus fields. Close to the creek you’ll need to keep an eye out for stinging nettle since it tends to lurk along the stream banks
As the creek gets smaller, the trail gets steeper. When you hit the trail junction with Osberg Ridge Trail you’ll be at the top.

Boulder Lake

Sun Valley

Level: Easy
Distance: .9 mile point to point
Elevation: 415′ increase

Once in the Boulder Basin, this trail veers right and ends at a small lake.

Rainey Creek

Swan Valley

Level: Intermediate
Distance:1.5 – 2 miles to the 3rd creek out and back. Full trail is 13 miles so, go as far as your crew can handle.
Elevation: First 2 miles are fairly flat – maybe 100 ft. change

Quiet dirt trail with creek crossings (~1-2ft at the deepest) make this fun for little ones on a hot summer day. Motorized and horses also use the trail but can easily step off trail to let them pass.

Rush Hour Trail

Victor

Level: Easy
Distance: 4.1 miles out and back
Elevation: 305′ Gain

Rush Hour Trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Yellowstone/Grand Teton Rail Trail

West Yellowstone

Level: Easy
Distance: 40.3 miles point to point
Elevation: 1,788′ decrease

Handy bathroom and lots of parking separate this section from the others. Head southwest on the remains of the RR bed. South Fork Road will join you and provide an occasional dust cloud for a few miles. Cross over Black Canyon Loop Road and Big Springs Loop Road just before coming to Henry”s Fork trestle. As you climb up the river bank the trail turns into a snake for 0.25 mile. You’ll see Big Springs Loop Road again and parallel Trude Road for miles before crossing it. Next, pass Rainbow Road in Island Park. Press on to Pineview where you’ll again cross Eccles Road and the headwaters of the Warm River. Big surprise, you’ll cross Warm River Road three times on the way to Gerrit, home of a horse corral. Cross over Warm River Fish Hatchery Road and parallel Wood Road to Warm River where you’ll follow it to the campground.

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EIM Nonprofit Spotlight :: Rigby Rockets

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East Idaho Moms is excited to feature Rigby Rockets, part of the Jefferson Education Foundation, as our nonprofit for June 2022. Eastern Idaho is...

All information shared in this guide comes from www.hikingproject.com, www.alltrails.comwww.trailforks.com, and personal experiences. Please always check for updated information, local warnings for the area you are hiking in, and with your doctor for any hiking concerns they may have for you. We cannot be held liable for any risks you take. We want you to enjoy all our area has to offer but to also be safe.