Five Mile Gulch Loop Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.4 km
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.
737 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Five Mile Gulch Loop Trail is one of the best adventures in Boise, in fact, it is ranked 10th on our list of the greatest hiking routes in the Boise National Forest. This remote and rugged adventure boasts tranquility and a great workout whilst boasting incredible views—what more could you ask for?

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Route Description for Five Mile Gulch Loop Hike

The Five Mile Gulch Loop is a scenic but strenuous adventure. Explore a swathe of wilderness occupied by arid moorlands, flowering grasslands, and lazy-moving creeks. While this route will test your endurance, the peacefulness and beauty of the remote landscape negate the sweat. Note that the path can become quite muddy in the spring and after rainfall; when this occurs, it is best to find another path or simply wear footwear with great traction and mind your footing. Much of the path is exposed, and with the considerable climb it demands, it is important to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated!

Setting out from the trailhead, your epic expedition takes the northbound Five Mile Gulch Trail. From here, the path will climb into the rugged creek canyon. While the majority of the elevation gain is packed within the first couple of miles, don’t let that discourage you, the terrain will mellow. Enjoy the peaceful sounds of the gurgling creek as you climb, and after some hiking, you will ultimately reach an intersection with the Boise Ridge Road, turn left, then merge onto Hulls Ridge. At the subsequent junction, turn left, and you will be diverted onto Trail 4, which is shared with motorized bikes.

Gradually descending, you will confront another crossroads; turn left onto the Watchman Trail. This route travels east, eventually reconnecting with the Five Mile Gulch Trail. Here, turn right and retrace your steps through the canyon back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Five Mile Gulch Loop Hike Trailhead

Access this adventure from the trailhead off E Shaw Mountain Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Five Mile Gulch Loop Hike Elevation Graph

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