Best Day Trips: 1 Hour Away from Boise Main Treasure Valley Life

There are lots of things to do in Boise. But if you're looking for something else to do or want to see more of this beautiful state, you're in luck. There are plenty of things to see and places to visit just an hour's drive from Boise. Check out some of our favorites!

Ontario, Oregon

Just across the Idaho-Oregon border is the city of Ontario. The Snake River runs next to the city, which helps irrigate the large agricultural industry. The largest crop is potatoes for the Ore-Ida company. Fun fact: the Ore-Ida company invented tater tots in Ontario in 1953.

Idaho City

Idaho City was founded in 1862 during the Idaho gold rush and quickly became one of the largest mining towns in Idaho. The town’s population declined in the early 1900's as the mining industry became less profitable. Today, the town serves as a popular destination for outdoor day trips and recreation as well as camping trips.

Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

This national wildlife conservation area was designated by Congress in 1993 to provide conservation and preservation of the large number of raptor birds in the area. Nine different raptor species call the preserve home. Their prey and the natural wildlife also flourish in the protected ecosystem, including the most dense population of badgers in North America. The preserve sits south of Boise and continues southeast past Mountain Home.

Mountain Home

Mountain Home is the largest city in Elmore County and is most famous for the Mountain Home Air Force Base just south of the city. The air force base was opened in World War II and was primarily a bomber training base until the 1960’s. Since then, the base has been home to fighter and interceptor planes. Close to town is the Crater Rings National Landmark, which was created by lava lakes around 2 million years ago. The rings are part of the Snake River Birds of Prey Conservation Area.

Bruneau Sand Dunes

The Bruneau Dunes State Park sits south of Mountain Home in the southeast end of the Snake River Birds of Prey Conservation Area. The dunes are North America’s highest single-structure sand dunes, with the tallest being around 470 feet tall. The dunes surround a small lake where small, non-motorized boats and float tubes are allowed. Fisherman catch bass and bluegill in the lake. Popular activities include sand boarding and climbing the dunes, horseback riding on equestrian trails, and stargazing at the observatory.

Givens Hot Springs

The town of Givens Hot Springs was founded by the Givens family in 1879. At the source, the water is 175 degrees. The pools are about the same temperature as a normal hot tub. The pools were popular with miners who wanted to relax after a day of hard labor, as well as travelers on the Oregon Trail. Today, the pools draw people from around the state to soak in the naturally heated pool and private soaking tubs.

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin sits less than an hour north of Boise near the summit of Shafer Butte. The mountain is the local hotspot for skiers, snowboarders, and cross-country skiers in the winter. A shuttle leaves from downtown on the weekends to take people up the mountain for a small fee. In the summer, people hike, ride horses, and bike along trails and the ski runs. The lifts operate to take people and equipment to the top. Recently, the resort completed the Glade Runner - Idaho’s only mountain coaster. The coaster runs year-round, taking riders along more than 4,300 feet of track through the forest. Other summer activities include disc golf, trampoline bungee, and even musical events.

Payette River Rafting

Idaho is known as the white water capital of the world, thanks to large rivers like the Salmon, Payette, Lochsa, Bruneau, and other rivers. The closest to Boise is the Payette River. Multiple guide companies with expert guides take people through the beautiful Idaho wilderness while also experiencing the thrill of whitewater rafting. These guides take groups of people on 1, 2, or 3-day trips through some of the best rafting in the world.


Emmett is a small town north of Boise on Highway 16. The small town is perfect for a day trip or a relaxing weekend getaway. In the summer, Emmett holds its annual cherry festival, where the cherry orchards open their gates for people to pick and pay for cherries. It’s a great family outing and any people have picnics in the orchards to take a break from picking. Bring your ladders and buckets!

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Posted by AndrewS at 12/5/2019 12:39:00 AM
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