Outdoor recreation is an important part of the Boise lifestyle. The Boise River courses through the heart of the city and is bordered by the Greenbelt bike and walking path that runs from Lucky Peak Reservoir to Eagle Island State Park. Boise was voted the “#1 mountain biking town” by Bike and Mountain Bike magazines. The Ridge to Rivers Trail System boasts over 85 miles of maintained trails for walking and riding. Excellent nordic and downhill skiing can be experienced at Bogus Basin, just 18 miles from the center of town and very popular with the locals for its inexpensive season pass (under $250). Additional skiing at Brundage Mountain, Tamarack Resort, and Sun Valley is less than three hours away. Hiking, camping, and backcountry skiing are popular in the nearby Sawtooth, White Cloud, Smoky, and Boulder Mountains
Kayaking, rafting and fishing opportunities also abound with the city in close proximity to the Boise, Payette, Salmon, and Snake Rivers. Idaho in general has many premier whitewater rafting and kayaking river systems, with the Payette River system less than one hour from town. The Payette offers everything from beginner runs to Class 5 whitewater. The several forks of world famous Salmon River and the Hell’s Canyon section of the Snake River are popular for multi-day trips, as are the stunning desert gorges of the Bruneau, Jarbridge and Owyhee Rivers south of Boise.
Rock-climbing enthusiasts can easily access the local basalt crag known as the Black Cliffs just east of town. Amazing granite routes in the City of Rocks and the Sawtooth Mountains are both less than four hours by car. Mountaineering opportunities also abound in the state, with many excellent routes in the Seven Devils, Sawtooths, White Clouds, Boulders, and Lost River ranges, to name a few.
But you don’t need to leave town to find something fun to do. Boise has a vital city center that offers musical entertainment, theatre, opera, good food and shopping. Tubing the cool Boise River during the hot summer months is a popular pastime. The extensive park system, including the Boise Greenbelt, is home to multiple city sports leagues and festivals. The parks and river provide refuge without ever leaving the city.