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Toddler-Friendly Hikes in Boise, Idaho (2024)

Updated: May 26

During the last few weeks my friend Holly of All Weather Adventuring and I have been highlighting various toddler-friendly hikes near Boise. It's been such a fun way to get out and explore with our toddlers (ages 3 and 4) and inspire others to get out and try new trails. Kid-friendly hikes aren't always great for "little kids" so hopefully this roundup is a great starting point for those of you with littles (but really, people of all ages!). 

two toddlers atop a big sandy rock with blue skies and clouds in the background

Elephant Rock Loop (Located in the Military Reserve near downtown Boise, this is a great, short hike for the whole family.)

The details:

⭐️ 0.8 mile loop hike with 120 feet of elevation gain

⭐️ Rated easy

⭐️ When reaching the fork in the trail, take a left to go around on the hike and take in the views before ending up at Elephant Rock to play towards the end of the hike. Or you can take a right and play on Elephant Rock before continuing on the hike

⭐️ Elephant Rock is a large sandstone rock formation that somewhat resembles an elephant and is perfect for climbing and running around

We love this trail because it is a great hike and easy enough for small kids to do on their own.

Getting there:Head north on Broadway Ave from downtown Boise. Take the first exit at the traffic circle onto Reserve Street. Turn left on Mountain Cove Road and drive past the bike park. Follow for 0.6 miles before reaching the trailhead on the left side of the road. There is some parking on the right side of the road just across from the trailhead.

toddler boy walking towards a big, sandy trail on a hill

Camel's Back (Located in the North End of Boise, this one is a Boise landmark and a very popular trail!)

The details:

When standing at the bottom of the hill you have a few options for going up (and then back down):

1- Head up towards the stairs through the sandy bottom and turn left and head up a trail that initially goes north away from the top. When the trail ends, take a hard right and follow the trail to the top.

2 - Go straight up the stairs (note that they are definitely steep and very sandy - you’ll only want to take this route with good, grippy shoes.) We’ve been shocked at our own littles’ ability to climb this steep hill but you know your kiddo best - if they won’t make it then take another route!

3 - Head up towards the stairs through the sandy bottom and turn right and head up the trail. The trail loops around the back of the hill but you can take a left and head up the stairs to get to the top.


🌳 Great views of downtown and the best spot to enjoy the Fall colors of the trees in the Fall!

🌳 Lots of birds and bugs to observe!

🌳 Dog friendly!

🌳 Great trails for hiking and mountain biking behind the big hill!

🌳 Sandy hill to play on around the back side of the hill. (Follow the trails down around the backside to get here and then continue straight on the flat trail to come around the other side of the big hill afterward)

🌳 A great park, tennis courts, volleyball courts, picnic tables, benches, playground, rest room and exercise equipment at the bottom!

🌳 Walkable from Hyde Park where some of our favorite shops and restaurants are located. This is a great place to start or end your hike (especially if you need a great coffee or a sweet treat bribe!)

two toddler boys on top of a big set of rocks overlooking a city and blue skies

Chief Eagle Eye Reserve (Compared to it's famous neighbor, Table Rock, this is an easy hike!)

This fun loop at the Chief Eagle Eye Reserve goes along the Shoshone-Paiute and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes trails just west of Table Rock. It is an overlooked gem and with less elevation gain and a shorter distance, it is more kid-friendly than the popular Table Rock Hike. With incredible views and big rocks to climb on at the top, it is well worth checking out! 

Details and directions:

⭐️ Start at Old Penitentiary/Table Rock Trailhead

⭐️Take an immediate left onto Table Rock trail toward Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Loop

⭐️Keep right at the fork/trail sign for Table Rock Trail and Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Loop

⭐️Turn left at the fork for Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Loop

NOTE: although this is kid-friendly and our toddlers (ages 3 & 4) hiked the whole way up, it is a steady climb to get to the top! 😅 Take your time!

⭐️Arrive at the “Eagle Eye” rock outcropping (on your left) and play here for awhile while enjoying the nice views of Boise and the Boise foothills! 

There are 2 options for finishing your hike:

🌳 Option 1- Head back the way you came (making the entire hike less than one mile long - it’s only about 0.35 miles to the rocks from the parking lot)

🌳 .7 out-and-back hike with 220 feet elevation gain

🌳 Option 2- Continue straight along Shoshone-Pauite Tribes Loop as it goes downhill and loop around to the left. (We chose this option last week and both our boys struggled to finish and we had to carry them for a bit at the end! It just got long - not overly hard.)

🌳 1.35 mile loop with 235 feet elevation gain. This way will take you past Eagle Rock Park (tucked back in the trees off to the right of the trail) which you can get to by turning right off the trail. The park has lots of shade, bathrooms and a fun playground! You can also get to the park by driving there after getting back to the car. 

two boys running along a trail into trees

Grove Loop to the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center (There are lots of great trails in this area so be sure to follow this route carefully!)

The details:

🌳 Just over 1 mile loop hike with less than 100 feet elevation gain (easy trail and very flat!)

🌳 Park at the Grove Trailhead parking area on Sunset Peak Road

🌳 Cross the paved road and walk a short distance on Owls Roost Trail (this is a bike friendly trail as well so watch out for mountain bikers!)

🌳 Continue straight on Grove Trail at the fork (pedestrian only trail)

🌳 Merge back with Owls Roost Trail and then take a left to the Foothills Learning Center

🌳 Explore the outdoor play areas and then head back

🌳 On the way back, you can go the same way you came or turn right on Grove Loop Trail to make a loop (this section of trail is a bit more narrow, but still very flat and easy)

Why we love it:

⭐️ SHADED for lots of the hike!

⭐️ Easy hiking path (and flat), making it great for families and people of all ages

⭐️ Accessible, wide trail, great for accommodating wheelchairs or strollers

⭐️ Spots to stop and play along the way

⭐️ Foothills Learning Center is such a fun spot to explore, with a big rock to climb, a tree fort, stumps to balance on, a story trail, a sand pit, wooden swing and more!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please always check trail conditions before you go and ALWAYS avoid muddy trails so that we can keep our trails in the best condition! 

What do you think of this roundup of our favorite hikes for toddlers? What other trails would you recommend for the littlest of hikers? Let us know!


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