There is no doubt about it, Idaho is a beautiful state. Maybe that’s why we love living here! If you love the outdoors like we do, you love to go hiking. In the Meridian area, there are dozens of beautiful hiking trails that range from easy to extreme and from short to long that will bring you face to face with some of the most breathtaking scenery you could imagine. We put together a list of five beautiful hikes that are close enough to enjoy nature, but still get to sleep in your own bed at night. Enjoy!
This is our pick of the top 10 family friendly things to do in and near Meridian, Idaho:
- Jump Creek Canyon (Falls)
Latitude: 43.480005083 degrees / 43° 28.800′ / 43° 28′ 48.02″
Longitude: -116.9237592816 degrees / -116° 55.426′ / -116° 55′ 25.53″
About an hour outside of Meridian, this is a short 0.5 mile round trip easy hike to a beautiful 60-foot water fall. The trail follows Jump Creek from the trailhead. There is some poison ivy that lines the trail, but it is pretty easily avoided. You can also go on a small trail that will take you to a view of the falls from above. You are welcome to go for a swim at the base of the falls. This is a day use only location that is open from sunrise to sunset.
- Mores Mountain Trail–
Latitude: 43.7839860261 degrees / 43° 47.039′ / 43° 47′ 2.35″
Longitude: -116.0857674479 degrees / -116° 5.146′ / -116° 5′ 8.76″
About an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Meridian, 20 miles north of Boise at 6,600 feet elevation, the trail begins at the Shafer Butte Recreation Area (a fee area). The trail has amazing views of the Boise National Forest and Sawtooth Mountains. You can go on the one-mile loop interpretive trail or the four-mile loop (Intermediate) that offers 360 degree views. This hike is especially beautiful from mid-June to August when there is an abundance of wildflowers. According to the forest service, the hiking trails at Mores Mountain wind through old-growth forests dominated by Douglas-fir and Ponderosa pine, and traverse lush meadows of wildflowers including sticky cinquefoil, scarlet gilia, sulphur buckwheat, lupine, and several species of penstemon. Where the trail skirts near the top of Mores Mountain, a large subalpine meadow filled with blue and purple lupine flowers presents a dazzling display of color in mid-summer.
- Table RockTrails are accessible from the Old Idaho Penitentiary parking lot.This hike is about 25 minutes outside of Meridian in Boise. There is a kiosk and directional signage for the trails located in the parking lot of the Old Idaho Penitentiary. The Table Rock trails offer exquisite views of Boise and the Treasure Valley, and is popular among trail enthusiasts for sunset hikes. Table Rock trails are rated as Moderate hikes. Wear a hat and bring plenty to drink as there is little to no shade and no water available on this hike.
- Blue Lake Trail
Latitude: 44.4182795207 degrees / 44° 25.097′ / 44° 25′ 5.81″
Longitude: -116.1326551437 degrees / -116° 7.959′ / -116° 7′ 57.56″
A little over two hours outside of Meridian, this hike is well worth the drive. Blue Lake Trail is a gorgeous hike that is suitable for all skill levels. The Blue Lake Trail begins one mile northeast of the Highline Trail on the Naturalist Basin Trail and ends at Blue Lake. There is a steep decent in the beginning, but it smooths out relatively quickly. Just before you arrive at the lake, there are fields of beautiful wildflowers. Before you even embark on your hike there are fantastic views of the lake from the road. Primitive camping is available at the lake, and there is easy shore access for fishing. The hike to the lake is about one mile, so you could do that in and out for a two mile hike, or continue on the trail as it circles the lake making for a total hike of around three miles. When you take the loop, you will be treated to a nice little waterfall.
- One Spoon Trail
Latitude: 44.2340075521 degrees / 44° 14.040′ / 44° 14′ 2.43″
Longitude: -115.9047317505 degrees / -115° 54.284′ / -115° 54′ 17.03″
An hour and a half outside of Meridian, this is an ideal trail for a short day hike with unusual granite formations and wonderful views of the east side of the Middle Fork. The trail is about five and a half miles in and out and is rated as Difficult. One Spoon Trail is a steep climb on an open ridge shrouded with old-growth ponderosa pine trees. Once you reach the top of the 2,600-foot vertical climb to the ridge, you will be treated with great views in all directions. And, you would have gotten a great workout.
There is really so much a family can experience in Meridian and surrounding areas. Hopefully this list will help you find something fun to do with your family soon!