With COVID-19 raging around the world it can be hard to exercise safely indoors. Luckily, Idaho State University is nestled in a gorgeous mountain range that is home to some of the best hiking trails in the northwest.
Not all trails are created equal. Some may require adventurers to be in tip top shape while others can be hiked with ease. To help break down which trails are best and how difficult they are we interviewed Nicole Hanson, an experienced hiker and marketing professor at Idaho State University.
Inman Trail is in Inkom just a few miles south of Pocatello. This trail is open year round and is good for hiking or mountain biking in the summer and cross country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. Nicole mentioned that this trail is very scenic. It has a lot of old growth trees and if you continue to hike it for a while you will go into gorgeous canyons. She also mentioned that this trail is an intermediate one. According to our research the south fork for the trail is about five miles long and is fairly flat.
The Boundary Trail starts near the parking lot of Pebble Creek near Pocatello and ends in the big springs campgrounds. Nicole said that this trail is a total of 37 miles so this one is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced if you are planning to do the whole thing. However this trail is her absolute favorite and has beautiful views and secluded canyons.
Robbers Roost Trail starts between Inkom and McCammon. Professor Hanson said this trail is pretty flat and just a couple miles long so this one is perfect for quick autumn hikes. It will take you along a creek and into old growth Aspen trees that turn a stunning golden color during the fall. If you want a challenge Nicole mentioned that this trail may continue and take you back into the mountains, but this is for experienced hikers and mountaineers only.
Scout Mountain is about a 30 minute drive from Pocatello and has several great trails. Nicole recommended the Mink Creek Trail especially in the late spring / summer since it has gorgeous wildflowers blooming. This trail is 8.7 miles long if you want to hike the whole thing and it closes during the winter.
“The Cat Tracks”: This one is not an official trail but Nicole highly recommends this one if you are looking for the ultimate scenic view. This trail is basically the ski slopes of Pebble Creek Ski Area. When Pebble Creek shuts down in the summer you can park in the parking lot for free and hike up the slopes once the snow has melted. When you reach the top you are greeted by breathtaking views of the valley.
Good Enough Trail is another great intermediate hiking trail just 30 minutes from Pocatello. It is 4.7 miles long but there are many side trails to explore if you want more. The trail starts in Good Enough Campground so you can camp at this trail as well.
Gibson Jack Trail is just a few minutes away from Idaho State University. There are several different trails that start at Gibson Jack but the actual Gibson Jack Trail is 7.5 miles long and takes you through a nice forest area.
City Creek Loop is another great trail just minutes from Idaho State University. Totaling just 2.9 miles, this trail is the shortest on our list but it still provides a scenic hiking experience complete with a stream and small forest. City Creek is a great trail to hike with friends, but it does close down for winter so make sure you try it before November.
If you would like to visit any of these trails we recommend you go to AllTrails.com and search for the trail’s name. AllTrails.com will give you detailed instructions on how to get there, how difficult it is, and much more. Remember to pack water and tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be gone before you go hiking.
The Pocatello area has so many great outdoor recreation opportunities that, even in the midst of a pandemic, there is not much of an excuse to be bored.