Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
3.80 mi (6.12 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.

The town of Nampa, though not too far from much of southeast Idaho’s outdoors, does not have many trails of its own. Deer Flat wildlife refuge is the closest option, and it offers a decent network of trails near Lake Lowell. The lake is quite popular in summer for boating, but these hiking trails are never crowded. Right here outside of Nampa you can enjoy a peaceful walk in nature, scanning the sagebrush prairie for wildlife or wildflowers.

Though the trails are on a hill close to the water, lake views are limited by stands of cottonwood, which are good for wildlife. You might see animals near the forest edge, or by looking from the observation deck at the top of the hill. You’ll likely spot waterfowl and other migratory birds. You might also see raptors, rabbits, ground squirrels, or deer. The ideal season is probably spring, when animals are on the move and flowers are in bloom. 

The trails do not enter the trees, but stay in the open grassland. That means there is no shelter, so very hot or cold days are not the best times to come. Save it for a pleasant spring day or a cool summer morning. The wide dirt path is mostly easy walking, but some parts are a bit steep. The full trail covers more than 3 miles, making a loop with the observation deck and the bottom of the hill near the trees. There’s no reason to walk all of it, however, if you want to make a shorter out-and-back from either trailhead. Begin at the visitor center or from the lot at the top of the refuge entrance road. The trails are open to walking, biking, and horseback. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash to protect nesting birds and other wildlife.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall
Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Trails close to Nampa. Wildlife refuge.

Cons

Limited access to lake. Hot and dusty in summer.

Trailhead Elevation

2,640.00 ft (804.67 m)

Highest point

2,660.00 ft (810.77 m)

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river
Wildlife
Fishing
Big vistas
Big Game Watching
Bird watching
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

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