If you’re looking for an easy hike close to town that fills all the summer boxes on your checklist, try the Mores Mountain trail above Bogus Basin.
The trail features sweeping views, abundant wildflowers, butterfly aerobatics, cooler temperatures — and it’s kid-friendly.
The trailhead is at the Shafer Butte Recreation Area. It has a 1-mile interpretive option, which teaches hikers about the value of dead trees, wolf lichen (the bright green “hair” on Douglas fir trees), the appeal of different parts of the forest to plants and animals, bark beetles, aspen trees and competition among plant life. I picked up a brochure that explains each stop from the BLM office in Boise (1387 S. Vinnell Way).
Or, you can do the entire loop. It runs 2.25 miles and climbs nearly 500 feet. It includes views of Bogus Basin’s backside ski runs, the Treasure Valley and the Sawtooth Mountains. The interpretive trail is wide, with easy walking and wooden rails marking the path. The part of the loop beyond the interpretive area is narrow and steeper, but still well-maintained.
There is a $5 day-use fee at the trailhead.
▪ Stats: We did the full loop of 2.25 miles in about 1 hour, 25 minutes — with a kid, a dog and plenty of photo stops. It was 71 degrees at 1 p.m. when we started, a huge change from the Valley.
▪ Getting there: Drive to Bogus Basin. Go beyond the Simplot Lodge to the Nordic ski lodge and keep going, as if you were cross-country skiing. You’ll see a sign marking the turn to the Shafer Butte picnic area and campground. It’s 4.6 miles from Simplot to the parking area. It’s a bumpy, dirt road. Pets are allowed on-leash.