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Boise, ID: Watchman Trail Loop

Just minutes from downtown, this 9.4-mile loop in the Boise foothills offers a quick escape from the city on one of the newest sections of the Ridge to Rivers trail system.

Trip Tools

Escape the bustle of the city on this 9.5-mile foothills loop that’s minutes from downtown Boise. The loop connects five trails in the Ridge to Rivers trail network and serves up sweet vistas of the city and the surrounding mountains along the way. From Shane’s Trailhead, hike north past parched, sagebrush-dotted foothills on Shaw Mountain Road.
Roughly 2 miles in, the route turns left onto 5-Mile Gulch Trail. Following Fivemile Creek, the trail travels through dense, low-lying vegetation before cutting uphill and turning onto Watchman Trail just past mile 3. After a short climb to a ridgeline with overhead views of 5-Mile Gulch, pick up the Curlew Ridge Trail and head south. Grab endless panoramas of Boise and the surrounding plains as you trek south on the rolling ridgeline toward the Three Bears Trail. After 8.6 miles, savor your last views of the city to the west and the Danskin Mountains to the southeast before swinging a left onto Shane’s Trail and returning to the trailhead.
Info: Ridge to Rivers Trail System
-Mapped by Mike Lanza

To Trailhead

From Fort St. and Reserve St., head east on Reserve St. In 0.5 mile, bear right onto Shaw Mountain Rd. In 0.5 mile, turn right on Shaw Mountain Rd. In 0.6 mile, bear left on Shaw Mountain Rd. Go 1.9 miles to trailhead parking.

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