One of the biggest perks of living in the Treasure Valley is the access to the beautiful outdoors. Some of the most frequent questions that I get asked on Boise With Kids are things like "What are the best kid-friendly hikes near town?" and "Do you have any tips or tricks for going on hikes with our little kids?" While our family loves going hiking and adventuring in the outdoors, we don't have a ton of local knowledge and experience *yet* so I asked my dear friend Holly to help us all out.
Holly is a local mama of four (ages 2-10) and she and her family are avid local hikers and adventurers. Some of her favorite things are sunshine, family time, hiking, biking, running, swimming, yoga, reading, and exploring new places. She and her husband are passionate about getting their kids outside in nature (no matter the weather!) and teaching them to respect this beautiful world we live in. Holly has created some amazing tools to help engage and encourage families to explore. You can check out the products of her Etsy shop here.
She's agreed to introduce us to some of her family's favorite trails each Tuesday during the month of November and we're hoping to do more in the Spring when the weather is warmer and the trails are clear of snow and ice.
So without further ado, enjoy some great info about a little hike around Camel's Back from Holly:
One of my family's favorite spots to play and hike is Camel's Back near Hyde Park! There are SO many trails to explore there and my kids love playing on the sandy hill on the backside and on the playground down below. After exploring the trails up the hill and behind the park many times, this little loop is our go-to. Our kids are now 10, 8, 6 and 2, and all of them have hiked this trail except the baby who we usually wear in a hiking backpack.
"Camel's Back Loop"
A little about the area: -Check out this BWK post about the North End!
-Camel's Back Park (located off 13th and Heron) has a lot of amenities. There are a lot of fun play structures, a workout area, bathrooms, tennis courts, trees to climb, picnic tables and LOTS of open green space!
-Pro tip: we like to hike before playing at the park to make sure we get a good hike in.
Important hike details:
-about 1 mile long -231 feet elevation gain -no tree cover/all open -This hike is not stroller friendly!
Directions: -Start at the base of the steep rocky steps and climb up! This is the hardest part of the hike as you gain almost 150 feet of elevation in 0.1 mile. At the top of the hill, enjoy amazing panoramic views of downtown Boise, the foothills, and the surrounding mountains. This is seriously my favorite view in the Fall with all the amazing Fall foliage!
-Go to the left and continue straight up Camel's Back Trail. It descends for a bit and then ascends up another hill.
-At the top of the hill, turn right, following Camel's Back Trail as it descends and curves to the right.
-At the bottom of the hill, take a sharp left onto Red Fox Trail and at the next fork, take a right onto Hulls Pond Trail.
-Go left at the next fork onto Hulls Pond Loop. Here you will find a creek, which is a great spot for a snack break or to let the kids play by the (seasonal) water in the shade. -continue along Hulls Pond Loop until the next fork. Take a right onto Gold Finch Trail and follow it around Hulls Pond.
-When the trail comes to a "T" take a left onto Red Fox Trail to get to the sandy hill, which is another great place to let kids play. It is a busy area, so be mindful of other hikers, runners, and mountain bikers on this section of the trail. But the sandy hill is a great spot to play and my kids have spent HOURS running up and down the hill, sliding down on their bums and just being kids!
-Just past the sandy hill, take a right onto Florence's Trail and continue as the trail ascends. Continue straight on the trail as it loops around to the front of the hill and back down to the starting point.
*Another option, instead of going right and ascending on Florence's Trail, is to follow the flat path around the hill which takes you to the tennis courts off Heron St. The parking lot and park are just past those. We opt for this route if our kids are just done hiking and ready to play on the playground or go home!
I've actually created a fun hiking guide with all of this information as well as a map for kids to follow along as you hike! It comes as a laminated 4x6 sheet and can be used alone, or hole-punched and attached to my adventure guide kit!
HAPPY HIKING! Please reach out over on Instagram if you have any other questions or need more hiking tips! I'd be happy to help!