The Boise Foothills have seen a major transformation over the past 20 years. Hillsides once scarred by uncontrolled four wheel drive traffic now are lush with sage, bitterbrush and grasses. Old motorized routes that contributed to significant erosion have now been replaced by single track trails designed in more sustainable locations. Please help us preserve the visual and ecologic quality of the Foothills by only recreating on marked Ridge to Rivers pathways.
Red Cliffs Trail Reroute
The most recent effort to mitigate erosion in the Foothills occurred this spring, when volunteers helped to relocate 3 sections of Red Cliffs Trail #39 on Tending the Foothills day. The Red Cliffs Trail began as a 4 wheel drive route before the Ridge to Rivers trail system existed, and has remained in that alignment since. The trail had migrated as much as 30 feet over the years, eroding readily and creating a scar that could be seen from quite a distance. The new alignments are in sustainable locations, and the old routes were closed and rehabilitated.
The steep hillside above Camelsback Park has long been an unfortunate symbol of the effects of uncontrolled use in the Foothills. In 1999, volunteers from the North End Neighborhood Association began to create nearly 3 miles of good trails while closing the steep, scarred routes that then existed. In 2000, steps were installed along “the nose” to make that steep trail safer.
In 2006, REI gave the City of Boise a grant to further rehabilitate the hillside. With the assistance of Conservation Seeding and Restoration, a plan that included a 5-year stewardship aspect was developed and implementation begun. With the City of Boise funding the annual stewardship efforts, and the changes to the Camelsback hillside have been dramatic. Native vegetation is slowly recovering, non-native weeds are being eradicated, and old scars continue to heal.
Please do your part by staying only on marked trails when climbing this hillside!