If you are looking for a beautiful hike near Boise and Twin Falls, you really need to check out Box Canyon Springs Idaho.
Why Hike Box Canyon?
The views. It has amazing crystal clear water, is pretty simple to hike, and is a trail the family will love. You can read more about it in this post.
Its proximity to Boise makes it a perfect day trip. If you are coming from Twin Falls, it is even closer.
How to get to Box Canyon Springs
Google maps took us there no problem. That isn't always the case here in Idaho, but with this trail it was.
It is off the interstate, about 3 miles on to 1500 south, then another 4.5 miles. It is all farmland out there and you think there is no way you will reach springs like the one shown below. But you will! There is a $5 entrance fee, have cash on hand.
Notes On Hiking Box Springs Canyon
There was plenty of parking when we visited. It is a popular trail though and I can see it filling up quickly. We went early morning and I recommend this if you are hiking in warm months.
No services on this trail, so keep that in mind for bathroom stops on the way in.
There is also hardly any shade on the hike. If you are hiking in the summer months, I recommend going early and packing plenty of water.
There are areas you can swim on this hike if you want. The water is cold, but feels pretty good on a hot day!
I am not sure of the total distance of the trail but know the loop is between 5-6 miles. Most of it is an easy trail, but because of some incline, it is rated moderate.
Hiking The Trail
After parking, there is an overlook on the canyon rim. This what you look down to. So beautiful, right?? These photos hardly do the view justice.
There is a fence to climb over, don't worry there is a sturdy ladder to climb on. If you aren't interested in the ladder, there is an opening to the left of the ladder further down the fenceline. This is the side you will come back on if you take the loop.
From here, you will walk on the trail that follows the rim of the canyon. The views from up here are spectacular!
This part of the trail is pretty easy to hike- flat and pretty much smooth.
The trail will then start the descent into the canyon. This is a little steep and a little rocky, but very accessible. If you struggle with climbing it might be a little tough, but really not bad at all. If you are in good shape, this is nothing.
There are a few switchbacks on the trail making the descent even less steep. Once you get to the bottom, take a left to continue on the trail. You can take a right to see the pool you viewed from the overlook, but we wanted to check the rest of the trail out.
The falls are so beautiful once you get down. There are several stops for views, but this was one of our favorites.
If you are unsure of your footing, be careful in these areas, just like you should in any other area with large rocks and fast-moving water :). These are 20 foot falls, so a pretty good size.
The day we hiked it was perfect. It was about 75-80 degrees and clear beautiful skies!
As you continue down the trail, you will come to the bridge crossing the river. It is such a picturesque view! Stop and take a break for a while, soak it all in.
Although this is a popular trail, we had it to ourselves for most of the hike. This spot was a favorite as it was so quiet, the only sounds were the sounds of nature. We took this hike in the middle of quarantine and it was just what we needed a little reprieve from the craziness of life.
As you continue on the trail you will come to these gorgeous pools. The water is such a brilliant blueish green. I could hardly take my eyes off it!
Let's note- the water is freezing. It didn't stop my oldest though. He HAD to get in. He made it up to his knees and that was as far as he could go :).
We spent a bit of time in this area. Again, the trail was quiet that particular morning, so we this area all to ourselves. It was pretty perfect!
Information On Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs
I was reading before the trip this spring is the 11th largest springs in the USA. Cool, right? It is part of the Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs, a 350-acre preserve.
To Loop Or Not To Loop
Now, once you hit the blue pools you have 2 choices. The first is to turn around and go back the way you came in. This is our plan next time we hike.
On the hike, we ran into a couple, they were running the trail, and they suggested we make the loop. We took their advice, but it really wasn't that great. So, you can continue on and make the loop.
This will give you the full hike if you do it this way. The photo below shows the trail you take up to return. You get a good view of the Snake River and the hatchery on the way up, but that's about it. It is basically a rocky gravel road. Then you cross grasslands to get back to the parking lot.
So, I highly recommend this hike. It is beautiful. It is easily accessible, and it is a quick drive from Boise or Twin Falls. Perfect for a day out! If you are looking for another hike close to Boise or Twin Falls, Little City of Rocks is another great hike.
A Few Things To Note About This Hike
Things to remember on this hike:
- Water. There are no pumps here, you are on your own to bring what you will need.
- Sunscreen- There is very little shade in this area.
- Poison Ivy- There is a bit at the base of the trail. It shouldn't be a big deal if you are mindful and stay on the trail in those areas.
- Like most other trails in this part of Idaho, be mindful of snakes.
- Pack out what you pack in. Let's keep these areas natural and beautiful.
- If you are bringing your DSLR, make sure and get a circular polarized filter. I didn't and had a time editing these photos!