Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
550.00 ft (167.64 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.75 mi (7.64 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Contrary to its name, Dry Creek does not go dry, at least not here in the upper watershed where this trail explores. The creek is tiny but flows year round, fed by mountain springs near Bogus Basin. As one of the few perennial streams in the Boise Foothills, Dry Creek is a refuge for riparian habitats and for a native fish called the Redband Trout. This beautiful creek valley is preserved for people’s enjoyment, too, and the trail offers options for distance and difficulty based on how far you want to explore.

There are two possible starting points: an upper and a lower trailhead along Bogus Basin Road. The upper one has better parking, so that’s the recommended entry. It’s a wide pullover on a hilltop, with an automatic view over the foothills and the city, plus a view into the rocky canyon below. The trail makes a winding descent into it, then weaves among rock formations as it turns to follow the drainage upstream. The footing is a bit rugged and possibly loose in places, but soon the trail levels out as the canyon widens.

The footpath contours a hillside of sagebrush grassland, with the lush riparian zone just downhill. You’ll hear the gurgling of the creek before you see it. Eventually the trail nears the stream, but it’s important to stay on the path to reduce erosion. You can get a better look at the spots where bridges cross the water.

Continuing gently upward, the trail alternates from foliage by the creek to open hillsides of the canyon. You’ll gaze down at green groves filled with water and up at yellow flowers among the sagebrush. At one point you can find an old stone foundation, indicating where a homestead perhaps used to be. Keep an eye out for resident wildlife as well.

Eventually, another bridge crosses where two forks come together. This is Shingle Creek, another perennial stream, joining Dry Creek at the convergence of their canyons. There’s a trail marker and a footpath leading up each drainage. You can continue on either if you want to explore further, but the junction makes a good turnaround point for a casual hike.

The Dry Creek trail can be good at any time of year, but is best on cooler days with dry weather. In winter snow and ice can linger on these steep slopes, and in spring the trails may be unstable with mud. Hike it in May and early June for the best flower displays, and come back often through summer and fall to watch colors in the canyon change.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Year-round water in the creek. Beautiful foliage and wildflowers.

Trailhead Elevation

3,700.00 ft (1,127.76 m)

Highest point

3,750.00 ft (1,143.00 m)

Features

Family friendly
Historically significant
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

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