A Kayaking Blog By Dan Simenc

Four Star Day

Four Star Day

May 13, 2012

To many, Idaho’s capitol is the land of potato farmers and blue football fields, but the vibrant city of Boise also boasts an expansive trail system, numerous local crags, nearby rivers, skiing, and just about everything else you could ask for short of a coastline.

After a day of work, depending on the season, you can choose between night skiing at Bogus Basin, mountain biking in the foothills, surfing the whitewater park, driving up to the Payette River System, boating at Lucky Peak, rock climbing, running, golfing, or _____________ (fill in your other favorite pastime, as long as the ocean isn’t required you can do it here).

If the season’s right, you could do different sports all day long until your arms and legs fall off. In fact, doing this is somewhat of a spring tradition for active Boiseans, and a challenge my brother Tom and I took up one warm March Saturday.

Tom and I live next door, so meeting up to recreate is easy. Our four-star day began with a morning mountain bike ride up to Table Rock and back. Miles of winding single-track trails spiderweb throughout the foothills overlooking Boise, and most of the trail heads are near downtown making it easy to begin and end a ride from the house, with no driving required.

Sport #1: Mountain Biking

After breakfast we drove to the columnar basalt of the black cliffs for the second sport of the day, rock climbing. The black cliffs are only 10 minutes from downtown and our house. The cliffs host hundreds of great traditional and sport climbs ranging from 5.6 to 5.14a. From our many trips to the cliffs we’ve climbed most of the good moderates, and almost every route in the 5.10-5.12b range. All our remaining projects require a good bit of effort, so today we enjoyed laps on some of the classics at the ‘short cliffs.’

Sport #2: Rock Climbing

After lunch we headed up to Bogus Basin with Megan and Tabbi for a fun afternoon of spring skiing. Bogus is only 14 miles from downtown Boise, or a 40 minute drive from our house. The mountain has some surprisingly good terrain, most of which is lit for night skiing until 10 pm during most of the season. The sky was a bit hazy, but we still enjoyed some nice views as we ripped turns through the soft snow.

Sport #3: Skiing

After a relaxing dinner break, we drove the short distance downstream to the new whitewater park for an evening surf session. The whitewater park is an amazing new addition to this already loaded city, and one that I’ve been making great use of this spring. As we looped and cartwheeled in the river-wide hole the sun began to set, illuminating Bogus Basin and the foothills behind us, and drawing our epic day to a close.

Sport #4: Kayaking

Four different sports between 8am and 8pm, all at quality locations, all for only 65.1 miles of total driving! With a great downtown surrounded by such a huge variety of top-notch outdoor resources, Boise is the capital of work and play.

Downtown Boise

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