Day trip: Boise

Tour Idaho's most bike-happy city this June

Boise River Greenbelt

Stretching 29.7 miles along the beautiful Boise River waterfront, the Boise River Greenbelt offers pretty, mellow riding suitable for all setups.

John Clark

Boise, Idaho Map Illustration

Getting There: Boise is 430 miles along I-84 from Portland, but a quick (and cheap) hour-long flight from Portland or Seattle.

  • Idaho Mountain Touring Bike Shop

    Explore Boise by bike

    This city is made for cyclists, with its leafy streets, wildflower-lined trails, and cool high-desert air

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Why go now: This city is made for cyclists―and now is an especially great time, with leafy streets, wildflower-lined trails, and cool high-desert air.

Population: 215,630

Dress code: Kits and cleats

Miles of paved bike path: 22

Miles of on-street bike lanes: 180

Miles of maintained mountain-bike trails reachable from town: 130

Best use for your old bike: Equal parts bike co-op, community workspace, and educational center, the Boise Bicycle Project (boisebicycleproject.org) refurbs bikes and donates them to lowincome families.

Hot wheels: BOB, which makes strollers beloved by outdoorsy parents nationwide, is Boise-based. Who knew?

Coolest race to watch: Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium, held downtown July 18 (boisetwilightcriterium.com).

Local cycling hero: Beijing Olympics gold medalist Kristin Armstrong

Post-ride rubdown: $85 for the signature Floating Feather massage at Floating Feather Day Spa (602 W. Idaho St.; floating-feather.com).

Make it an overnight: For chic digs just two blocks from the Boise River Greenbelt, bed down at Hotel 43 (from $119; hotel43.com).

Three great spins―and snacks

In the hills beyond north Boise is legendary Cartwright Road, which leads to Hidden Springs, Boise’s own mini Pleasantville, with adorable cul-de-sacs, a neighborhood farm, and Old West–style grocer Dry Creek Mercantile ($; 5892 W. Hidden Springs Dr.; drycreekmerc.com).
 The reward: Choose a mid-route “snack” of homemade biscuits and sausage-studded gravy at “the Merc,” or hold out for a cold pint and grilled chicken sandwich at Highlands Hollow Brewhouse ($; 2455 Harrison Hollow Lane; highlandshollow.com).

If you’re a serious cyclist in search of a good climb, try the winding 16 miles to local ski area Bogus Basin for sweeping city and mountain views and a thrilling ride down.
 The reward: A 1/3-pound Herby burger with onion rings from Hawkins Pac-Out ($; 2315 Bogus Basin Rd.; 208/338-9627). Ask for fry sauce.

The area’s mountain-biking trails are kept in tip-top shape. Our favorite? Corrals, a classic Boise route that brings you down through the Hulls Gulch Reserve to aptly named Camel’s Back Park.
 The reward: Java ($; 1612 N. 13th St.; bowlofsoul.com), home of the massive Bowl of Soul―a mix of coffee, espresso, Mexican chocolate, and whipped cream.

More: Biking in Boise

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