Bogus Basin Loop Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
482 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Of all the amazing hiking routes found in Idaho’s Boise National Forest, one adventure commands the top of the charts—the Bogus Basin Loop Trail. This beautiful route explores the Bogus Basin Recreation Area and summits Shafer Butte, offering breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.

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Route Description for Bogus Basin Loop Trail

Hike high into the Boise Ridge Mountains on the Bogus Basin Loop Trail. A busy ski resort in the winter months, the summer season provides idyllic hiking opportunities when the snow melts. Unfortunately, tranquil adventures are few and far between in this area due to its popularity, so expect some company as you explore. Those seeking more seclusion are encouraged to head out in the early mornings or evenings to avoid the rush. Additionally, as there is an array of routes in the area, it is easy to get off track, so the trail GPS may be beneficial. Note: it is important to be mindful of passers-by as mountain bikers are permitted on specific trails within the Bogus Basin.

While there are countless manners to experience Boise’s Bogus Basin, hiking is undoubtedly our preferred way to explore the wilderness. Traveling through lush woodlands and scenic meadows, this expedition provides a great workout and the opportunity to reconnect and interact with nature. Along the way, you will find yourself at over 7,000 ft. You will be granted remarkable views of the surrounding Boise Ridge Mountains, Boise, Idaho City, and spellbinding vistas of the Sawtooth Mountains commanding the skyline. Don’t forget your camera; the scenery is quite photogenic. While there are numerous trails in Bogus Basin, the Bogus Basin Loop Trail combines the best of what the area has to offer in one scenic loop.

With plenty of water and your camera in tow, your adventure along the Bogus Basin Loop Trail begins along the #91 Deer Point. The southbound trail begins an ascent, via switchbacks, through exposed terrain and shaded pine thickets. Weaving beneath the Deer Point Express #1, you will intersect with several ski runs, which would be populated with skiers and snowboarders in the winter months. After some hiking, the path will enter a swath of woodlands. Here, #91 Deer Point will redirect you eastwardly, maintaining the consistent climb as you wander beneath Showcase Trail #4. When you ultimately reach the trail’s end at the intersection with the National Forest Development Road 374. Here, you will merge onto #94 Elk Meadows.

This lovely path contours the slopes of Shafer Butte, wandering through exposed areas and shaded tree stands. Soon the route will progress beneath the Pine Creek Express #6, curving northwardly. At the subsequent junction, you will turn left onto Mid Paradise Cut Off briefly before merging onto the National Forest Development Road 374. Traveling via switchbacks, the winding route will ultimately deliver you to the summit of Shafer Butte. The views from here will render you speechless! Admire the panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains in the northeast. You will also notice Idaho City in the foreground of the snow-dusted range. In the south, you will enjoy views of Boise and the nearby Boise Ridge Mountains.

When you are through reveling in the scenery, you can begin your descent back down to the trailhead. From here, the #95 Tempest will lead you northwestward down a collection of tightly wound switchbacks. At the route’s end, the southbound Lodge Cat Track will guide you down the slopes to Pioneer Lodge. Take a break and admire the overlook before continuing down the mountainside, beneath Morning Star Express Chair #2, and all the way back into the recreational area—signaling your hike’s end.

Seeking another epic hike? Check out the ten best hikes in the Boise National Forest; you’ll find something to satiate your craving for adventure.

Trail Highlights

Shafer Butte

Shafer Butte is located within the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area atop the Boise Mountain Ridge. Standing at an elevation of 7,582 ft, this peak is ranked as the highest in the Boise Ridge Mountains and 38th in Idaho. While not the tallest peak in the state, Shafer Butte is celebrated for its diverse offering of adventure pursuit. The summer months see incredible hiking and mountain biking opportunities, but the winter is when the hills come alive.

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin is an incredibly popular recreation area near Boise, ID. While the origin of the name is contested, many believe it was named for the crooks that would make bogus gold dust during the gold rush in the 19th century. Sitting below Shafer Butte, the Bogus Basin is an adventurer’s oasis. In the winter months, there are over 90 named runs for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy, and in the summer, there are countless hiking and mountain biking trails to explore. Additionally, there is The Glade Runner, which is a year-round mountain coaster for those with a craving for adrenaline. Head to the Bogus Basin website for additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you hike in Bogus Basin?

Yes, the Bogus Basin Recreation Area is home to countless hiking routes that are accessible in the summer months.

Is the Bogus Basin Loop Trail difficult?

The Bogus Basin Loop Trail is a moderately rated adventure for intermediate hikers and families with older children.

Insider Hints for Bogus Basin Loop Trail

  • Head out in the autumn to enjoy beautiful views of the fall colors
  • Hike this trail in the autumn when the leaves are changing
  • Explore in the early morning for more tranquility
  • Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Make sure your camera is charged, the views from atop Shafer Butte are picture-perfect

Getting to the Bogus Basin Loop Trail Trailhead

The Bogus Basin Loop Trail departs from the parking lot in the Bogus Basin Recreation Area off North Bogus Basin Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Bogus Basin Loop Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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