Stack Rock – Boise National Forest
I’ve lived in Boise for most of my life, and only just recently hiked Stack Rock for the first time. I had no idea just how huge and imposing the actual rock is, and the hike to it is a perfect example of what hiking in the Boise National Forest is all about.
The trail starts about 45 minutes up Bogus Basin Road, just after mile marker 13. There is a dirt turnout on the left side of the road and a small trail sign leading down to the trail. The first mile or so winds down through the forest and onto a dirt road, which is primarily used for logging but I’ve never seen any machines or anyone working up there. Keep your eye out for trail markers as some of the turns to the rest of the trail can be confusing.
This trail offers such a wide mix of terrain, foliage and landscape views; mossy green trees give way to a dry dirt road, which eventually leads you to another lush green forest before ending up on top of the mountain surrounded by dry grass, weather beaten trees and an amazing view of Boise.
What I really love about this area is that it is open for tons on recreational activity at any given time of year. Snowshoeing is popular in the winter, and even as early as April there were mountain bikers and other hikers willing to wade through the last remnants of snow dotting the trails. Maybe that says more about Boise and the active, outdoorsy people who live here, but just having the land available and kept so pristine is really special. That’s a blatant Boise brag, but hey, I’m proud of my city!
There are several other trails that branch off of the path to Stack Rock, but the trail markers do a good job of pointing you in the right direction if you’re unsure of where to go. The last half mile or so is a pretty steep incline, but getting to the rock is totally worth it!
It’s HUGE! I had no idea Stack Rock was as large, imposing or climb-worthy as it turned out to be. We climbed around on some of the smaller boulders and even started to find a path up to the top of Stack Rock… and then we realized that what goes up must come down and didn’t really feel like trying to scale a cliff face on our first hike of the season. I am planning to go back someday and try to find a way up, but for that trip we decided to keep it safe and easy.
There are a lot of nooks and crannies around the jumble of boulders that make up the base of Stack Rock, and we had a ton of fun crawling all over them and taking in the view of the city. I loved watching the swallows and raven swoop around, and there is nothing like a good rock scramble to get your blood pumping!
I was so happy to finally go on this wonderful hike – the location makes it an easily accessible day-hike destination from Boise, and the forest makes it cooler than other Boise hikes like Table Rock or Camel’s Back Park / Hull’s Gulch area. If you’re willing to carry some extra weight on the trail, this would be a great place for a family picnic, or simply a good excuse to get out of the city and into the wild for a few hours!
That IS a big rock!!
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