day trips from boise

11 Incredible Day Trips From Boise Idaho

Idaho is nicknamed the Gem State because of the vast amounts of high-quality minerals and gemstones found within its picturesque landscapes. It is these same landscapes that draw vacationers to this natural paradise. With mountainous terrains, vineyards, protected wilderness areas, and state parks all within driving distance of the capital city, Idaho is brimming with incredible day trips from Boise. 

Check out our 11 incredible day trips from Boise for inspiration to get out of the city and into the pristine nature of the Gem State.

1. Sunnyslope Wine Trail

scenic winery drive near boise

Driving Time: 40m – 1h
Distance from Boise: ~30-miles

Enjoy Idaho’s wine country by taking a short drive to Caldwell, Idaho. The Sunnyslope Wine Trail combines seventeen different Idaho wineries that can be toured privately or in a group. Explore the picturesque vineyards and orchards of the Pacific Northwest while tasting wine year-round along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail.

2. Thousand Spring State Park

boise day trips

Driving Time: 1h30m Directions
Distance from Boise: ~100-miles

Thousand Spring State Park is composed of seven different parks, all located near one another. It is aptly named after the many beautiful waterfalls that cascade down the rocky landscapes.  On a day trip from Boise, the closest park is the Malad Gorge Unit, a picturesque canyon with roaring river views. Here you can enjoy hiking, picnics, horseback riding, and more.

3. Bruneau Dunes State Park 

weekend trips from boise

Driving Time: 1h5m Directions
Distance from Boise: ~62-miles

Take a day trip from Boise to visit the Bruneau Dunes State Park. Towering 470-ft, this is the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America. Adventure seekers can sandboard down the desert slopes. However, if that’s not your cup of tea, then fishing, hiking, and horseback riding may be more your style.

Don’t miss these iconic Boise Idaho events,
Bucket List Boise Idaho Festivals You’re Probably Missing

4. Kirkham Hot Springs

fun day trips in idaho

Driving Time: 1h45 – 2h Directions
Distance from Boise: ~78-miles

What could be more relaxing than soaking in a geothermal pool while also forest bathing? A day trip from Boise to Kirkham Hot Springs offers this and day hikes and picturesque picnic spots. Visit between April – October for peak weather conditions.

Here are some more great hot springs near boise:
10 Ohhh So Good Hot Springs Near Boise

5. Idaho City

Historic idaho city

Driving Time: 45m – 1h Directions
Distance from Boise: ~40-miles

Idaho City is a short drive outside of Boise. This historical town was founded during the Boise Basin gold rush and still bears the old West vibes. It is considered a ghost town now as the once populous city quickly lost its citizens after the gold rush. Today, you can do a historical walking tour of Idaho city or wander the town at your own pace visiting its antique shops and old architecture. The Charcoal Gulch Hike is a short 4-mile hiking trail that can be done during day trips from Boise. 

6. Bogus Basin

bogus basin summer

Driving Time: 30m – 45m Directions
Distance from Boise: ~20-miles

Bogus Basin is best known for its fantastic skiing during the winter season. However, it is a year-round natural wonderland that is an easy escape from Boise. Enjoy skiing, winter tubing, and snowshoeing in the snow. While summer in Bogus Basin brings ample opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and even a ride on the Glade Runner, Idaho’s only mountain roller coaster. 

7. Shoshone Falls Park 

day drives from boise

Driving Time: 2h Directions
Distance from Boise: ~130-miles

Take in the peaceful sounds of the waterfalls at Shoshone Falls Park on a day trip outside of Boise. Located along the Snake River, Shoshone Falls has been nicknamed the Niagara of the West. The recommended time to visit is during the spring season. 

8. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

boise idaho day trips

Driving Time: 2h45m – 3h Directions
Distance from Boise: ~180-miles

Craters of the Moon is a US National Monument with other-worldly views of lava-covered landscapes. This protected area is great for hiking day trips outside of Boise because the vistas are breathtakingly unique. Hike along black lava trails and explore the flora and fauna unexpectedly thriving amidst these strange landscapes.

9. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

hagerman fossil beds

Driving Time: 1h30m Directions
Distance from Boise: ~100-miles

Among the many wonders found within the rocky Idaho, landscapes are fossils of now-extinct species. The Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is named after fossils of the Hagerman Horse, an extinct horse referred to as the “American zebra.” You can find fossils here of the Hagerman Horse, the American Mastodon, and more. Day trips from Boise to the Hagerman Fossil Beds are exciting and educational escapes outside of the city. 

10. Eagle Island State Park

scenic drives near boise

Driving Time: 30m Directions
Distance from Boise: ~15-miles

Eagle Island State Park is conveniently located close to Boise, making it an easy and cheap option for day trips from Boise. Go swimming or paddleboarding in the Boise River, enjoy a picnic, or hike along nature trails. 

11. Incredible Day Trips from Boise

Boise, Idaho has many fun and easy getaways located close to the city. Be sure to check operating hours before embarking on your day trip from Boise, as all Idaho state parks are only open during daytime-hours. This is generally from 7 am-10 pm; however, some locations vary. For example, the Malad Gorge Unit operates only between 8 am-4 pm. 

Day trips from Boise are an easy way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest since you don’t have to travel far to find hidden gems in the Gem State.

You might also enjoy:
15 Best Places To Visit In Idaho
11 Idaho Ghost Towns You’ll Never Forget
15 Boise Attractions You Can’t Go Wrong With
11 FUN Things To Do In Coeur d’Alene With Kids

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *