Boise Foothill Trails – New Watchman Trail

I’m a huge fan of the Ridge to Rivers trail systems here in Boise. They’ve done a great job of protecting, maintaining and expanding these escape single track routes that meander through the foothills. There’s something to be said when you can take a trail ten minutes from just about anywhere and run, hike or bike without the noise or fast paced city bullsh*t. More recently I’ve made an effort to get out an explore more of these intricate trail systems.

A recent broken thumb, broken mt. bike frame (snapped rear triangle) and cold have left me in a pseudo-house kept state. Last week was the first opportunity in a while that I had to get back out on the trails. The new Watchman Trail was number one on my agenda. I had been traipsing around the Five-Mile and Orchard Gulch Trails several weeks back when I noticed what appeared to be a freshly cut ridge line trail northwest and above the the Five-Mile Gulch Trail. I did some research and learned that the BLM, Ridge to Rivers and SWIMBA organizations teamed up to cut this new section dubbed the Watchman Trail.

My trek started 3.6 miles up Rocky Canyon Road at the Three Bears trail head. This short but steep strip of trail eventually mellows out and if you swing right turns into the Curlew Connect trail (Trail 6). A but up the trail and you’ll run right into the Watchman Trailhead sign. It should point you to the right (northeast) towards the Five-Mile Gulch Trail. This nicely cut section is etched very smoothly along the hillsides and gullies that separate it from the separating canyons. Spectacular views of the Treasure Valley are consistent all along the stretch giving you that miles from civilization.

Three Bears Trail - Ray J. Gadd Photography

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If you can get a chance, check this trail out on your mountain bike. It’d be a great ride if you took it from Ft. Boise, up Shaw Mountain/Rocky Canyon to Five-Mile Gulch, shoot west on Watchman Trail, down Curlew Connect (Trail 6), onto Three Bears, down Shanes and finishing up on Bucktail Trail. If you’re looking to hike it, I recommend driving up Rocky Canyon to the Three Bears Trailhead and follow the route described above. It took me about two hours. Would love to hear what you all think of the trail. Cheers!

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~ by skier2435 on December 1, 2008.

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