We're back with another "Trail Tuesday" written by my friend Holly of All Weather Adventuring. If you missed our first trail feature in this little series, click here to read all about Holly's family's go-to loop at Camel's Back. This week Holly takes us to one of Boise's more popular areas, Hulls Gulch.
As we head into the colder winter months, something that is SO IMPORTANT to know and understand is to stay off muddy trails! In order to continue using these trails for years to come, we have to take care of them. Ridge to Rivers has the best information about which trails to avoid after it has rained, which trails are good "all weather" trails, the specific reasons why we need to avoid muddy trails and more! Check it out here:
The Hulls Gulch area is one of our favorite places to hang out! My husband and I like to take turns trail running while the other one plays around with the kids or sometimes we all enjoy a hike together. We have also mountain biked here and it's a good spot for that as well! There are so many options and I'd like to highlight a few of our favorites.
-Located at the edge of the North End and just a few minutes past Camel's Back.
-Park at the Lower Hulls Gulch Trailhead parking lot.
-There is a pit latrine bathroom at the parking lot so hand sanitizer and/or wipes are a good idea to have on hand.
-Great views of downtown!
THE FIRST OPTION of where to explore here is super kid-friendly and even a toddler could walk it! It is rated as an easy trail on the Ridge to Rivers website.
-Right behind the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center building is a fun, very short loop to explore with kids. There is a wooden swing, a teepee made out of sticks, rocks and stumps to balance/climb on and more. There is also a cute story you can read on plaques as you go along the trail and other plaques with educational nature facts. A great resource to have with you would also be my adventure guide kit, which features local wildflowers, mammals, birds and more to look for as you explore.
-The Grove Trail is a short, flat trail you can continue exploring for as long as little legs are able and you can come back on that trail or make a loop out of it by coming back on Owl's Roost Trail. I believe it is less than a mile either way you choose.
THE NEXT OPTION is more of a hike, but still definitely do-able with kids! I would recommend having little ones in a hiking backpack carrier for this trail, but my older kids (ages 6, 8, and 10) all hike this one with us!
-This hike is about 1.5 miles with 176 feet of elevation gain. It is rated as an intermediate trail on Ridge to Rivers website.
-Across the parking lot from the Learning Center, take Kestrel Trail. Continue straight on Kestrel Trail at the first fork. This portion of the trail is mostly flat.
-At the next fork in the trail, take a left onto Red Cliffs Trail. This is the hardest part of the hike, as it ascends up the hill for 0.13 miles.
-At the top of the hill, take another left to continue on Red Cliffs Trail. The trail levels out at the top for a while and then starts descending and winding down the hill.
-At the bottom of this hill is Red Cliffs (really more of a yellow/orange color). There is a small wooden bridge, a seasonal creek and the clay/sand "cliffs" for kids to play and explore. We have spent many hours here as a family!
-This is a high-traffic area, and popular with mountain bikers, so always keep an eye on kids and make sure they aren't in the middle of the trail at the bottom of the hill. Also remember to be courteous and move out of the way when hikers, bikers or runners are passing by.
-After playing here for as long as desired, take a left on Lower Hulls Gulch Trail to take you back to the parking lot. (less than half a mile)
ONE OTHER OPTION if you just want to play at and explore the fun Red Cliffs area is to park in that same parking lot and take the Lower Hulls Gulch Trail to get there. This eliminates the climb up on the other side of the hill. You can also park along 8th Street just north of the parking lot and take the Lower Hulls Gulch Trail from there to Red Cliffs as well, which is even shorter.
I hope this was helpful and I would love to see your adventures if you end up checking out this awesome place! Tag @boisewithkids and @allweatheradventuring on Instagram so we can see you all enjoying these amazing places we live so close to! And as always, reach out with any questions!