Our new activity of choice has become overlanding ever since we welcomed a 4Runner into our family. We have attempted multiple ‘drives’ since there are so many beautiful locations near us, but going for an overlanding adventure with a toddler can be tricky. You never know when the littles will decide they have had enough, and it seems like our toddler can go from squealing of delightment to throwing a tantrum of “get me out of here” in about 2 seconds flat. We have learned to limit our driving stints and schedule plenty of stops to stretch and play on longer treks. I realize the overlanding philosophy may seem like it should take days, weeks, and for some, years. I disagree, though. The idea is to enjoy the journey; and each person’s journey will be a little different.
Our journeys tend to be on the day trip scale and we found the perfect route for families with kids (or adults with a short attention span!) It was a two hour loop right outside of downtown Boise, yet was a great trail with a few options for extreme overlanding (although any 4wheel vehicle could maneuver the course). As we climbed out of the city, the views of downtown were incredible- and after about 45 minutes of nothing covering the hills but sagebrush, we were able to cool off in the shade of the pine trees.
We started right downtown on 8th Street- the street actually turns into Sunset Peak Road, where you will see people hiking, biking, and ATVing in the Hulls Gulch/Camels Back Reserve. Once we reached the top of that mountain, we turned East on Boise Ridge Road. That connected us to Shaw Mountain Road which drops right into downtown again on Reserve Street! There are so many neat trails in that system, and would provide many great options for longer trips or connecting into Wilderness Ranch/Idaho City area. There were also some great options for dry camping- we thought about stopping to set the tent up to hang out for a few hours but the sun was burning a little too hot for our liking!
Lucy actually ended up sleeping the entire trail ride and started fussing when we were only a mile from home. So technically, maybe it wasn’t a family adventure. Maybe it was more of a parental break? Either way, it was a very fun outing with some pretty awesome views.