Day Trips From Boise

short & sweet

Sometimes it’s nice to just get away for the day. You may want a vacation but can’t be gone TOO long. Boise has many opportunities for doing just that and we’ve put together a quick list of some of our favorites. If you think we’ve missed some, please send us a note on our contact page and we’ll check your idea out! In the mean time here’s our list.

Balanced Rock

Just 2 hours southeast of Boise is the World-famous Balanced Rock. A true Southern Idaho icon, the mushroom-shaped rock measures 48 feet wide at the top and only 3 feet, 17 inches at the base. Learn More about Balanced Rock

Bogus Basin

Skiing and snowboarding in the winter and biking, hiking, disc golf, live music, hiking and running events in the summer. Only 45 minutes from Downtown Boise, the trip up the mountain has long been worth it just for the spectacular views of Boise and the Valley. Learn more about Bogus Basin

Bruneau Sand Dunes

Bruneau Dunes State Park, located 64 miles South of Boise. Rent yourself a sand board and dune ski North America’s largest freestanding sand dune that reaches over 470 ft… Learn more about Bruneau Dunes

Craters of the Moon

Three hours drive East of Boise. Craters of the Moon formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago. During this time, the Craters of the Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles.

According to the National Park Service Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We invite you to explore this “weird and scenic landscape” where yesterday’s volcanic events are likely to continue tomorrow… Learn more about Craters of the Moon

Dierkes Lake

Two hours southeast of Boise, enjoy Dierkes Lake hiking, fishing, picnicking, and swimming. Learn more about Dierkes Lake

Gold Fork Hot Springs

Situated in Donnelly, just 2 hours north of Boise, is the Gold Fork Hot Springs. The mineral-rich waters, hydrotherapy jets, and hot and cold pools are the perfect ending to any day. 100% natural with incredible alkaline rating and contains minerals that are great for the skin and body. Learn more about Gold Fork Hot Springs

Hells Canyon

Situated along the eastern Oregon border and about a four hours’ drive from Boise, Idaho is one of nature’s most spectacular creations, Hells Canyon. Known as the deepest river gorge in North America, surpassing the ever-popular Grand Canyon in Arizona. Prepare for whitewater rafting, jet boat tours and the opportunity to explore the numerous amounts of hiking trails. Learn more about Hells Canyon

Ice Caves

Two hours southeast of Boise, hidden below a massive sea of jagged lava rock is a 1,000 foot long lava tube with ice up to 30 feet thick. Even in the heat of summer, the ice remains permanently frozen, maintaining a temperature between 24 to 32 degrees year-round. Currently it is the largest volcanic cave in the world open to the public. Learn more about the Ice Caves

Idaho City

Natural hot Springs and history is found here! This former mining town was once the capital of Idaho and is located about an hour away from Boise. The rustic downtown area welcomes you with the charm of the old Wild West with a variety of antique shops, restaurants, and even an old sarsaparilla shop. Learn more about Idaho City

Idaho Wine Country

Located a short one hour drive west of Boise is the Sunny Slope wine district, home to over 13 different wineries! “Idaho’s wineries and vineyards consistently craft award-winning wines.” Great soil along with good weather promote an ideal environment for wine grapes. Most wineries are open year-round and offer free tastings. For a map of wineries close to the Boise Area, check out the map from the Idaho Wine Commission here. Learn more about Idaho Wines


Two hours north of Boise you will find the resort town of McCall, Idaho, nestled along the picturesque Payette Lake. Offering excellent boating with several sandy beaches and spectacular mountain scenery. North Beach is a popular spot for water skiing. Rent a boat and spend the day on the water or picnicking in one of the two city parks on the water.

Held between the last weekend in January and the first weekend in February, the McCall Winter Carnival is not to be missed. A celebration of all things winter, the McCall Winter Carnival brings more than 60,000 people to McCall each year. Expect to find incredible snow sculptures, live music, and daily events encompassing everything from comedy shows to art auctions. Learn more about McCall

Redfish Lake

Just south of Stanley and about a 3 hour drive northeast from Boise is Redfish Lake. It sits at an elevation of 6,550 feet above sea level, where the water is crystal clear and the beaches are sandy. Cabin camping, horseback riding, boating, fishing, hiking and photography are the vein of this area. Learn more about Redfish Lake


Three hours north of Boise, nestled deep in a canyon at the confluence of the Salmon River and the Little Salmon River in west central Idaho, approximately 150 highway miles north of Boise, and 120 highway miles south-southeast of Lewiston. Learn more about Riggins

Sawtooth Mountains

Three hours northeast of Boise lies the Sawtooth Mountain Range. With nearly 400 lakes, there is world class fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, boating, nature trails, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, birdwatching, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding. Learn more about the Sawtooth Mountains

Shoshone Falls

Located at the edge of Twin Falls, two hours southeast of Boise, Shoshone Falls is a natural beauty on the Snake River. At 212 feet, the falls are higher than Niagara Falls. The falls offer a unique blend of recreational facilities, including playgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, a boat ramp, swimming area, and a scenic overlook. A picnic in the shaded, grassy areas provides a perfect vantage point for viewing Shoshone Falls. Learn more about Shoshone Falls

Silver City, Idaho

Silver City, now a ghost town, was a boom town back in the late 1880’s. About a two hours’ drive from Boise, you will find mine shafts dotted throughout the rugged terrain, interesting headstones at the local cemeteries. While Silver City makes for a great place to visit, the town is only accessible by vehicle during warm months and as snow comes, only by snowmobile. Learn more about Silver City

Silver Creek Plunge

Silver Creek Plunge is located about 2 hours north of Boise in the Garden Valley Area and is very much a family resort. Many will make a day trip up here to take in the natural warm springs pool. You will also find a variety of ATV trails, fishing, overnight camping and cabin rentals in the event you want to stay longer. Learn more about Silver Creek Plunge


Stanley is the gateway to the Alpine Lakes, camping, hiking, and beauty and located about 3 hours northeast of Boise. Learn more about Stanley

Sun Valley

Sun Valley resort town is less than 3 hours east of Boise. It’s known for Sun Valley resort’s ski areas at Bald Mountain and nearby Dollar Mountain, the latter with gentler slopes. In summer, the resort has miles of mountain trails, equestrian routes and wildflower-filled meadows. Numerous other trails start from areas around town like Fox Creek and Trail Creek, which offers a path up Proctor Mountain for valley views. Learn more about Sun Valley

Thousand Springs

Less than 2 hours southwest of Boise is Thousand Springs. Truly a “Magic Valley”, visitors can explore the Oregon Trail at the Kelton Trail; hike and picnic at magnificent Malad Gorge; fish, view wildlife or ride horses in the indoor arena at Billingsley Creek; step back in time and tour historic agricultural structures at Ritter Island; hike in Box Canyon Nature Preserve and watch bald eagles; picnic at Niagara Springs; or teach the kids to fish at Crystal Springs. Learn more about Thousand Springs