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Shingle Creek-Mahalo-Dry Creek Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A tour of three of the best trails in the Boise Foothills.


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Map Key

20.5

Miles

33.0

KM

89%

Runnable

6,549' 1,996 m

High

3,474' 1,059 m

Low

3,530' 1,076 m

Up

3,531' 1,076 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open year round if you can deal with the snow in the winter.

Overview

Even with so many great trails around Boise, this route stands out as spectacular. Unlike many of the other lower foothills trails, the trees and shade extend down to a relatively low elevation. Also the water flows year-round, so this is a good option late in the summer if you run with dogs that need access to water.

Need to Know

Lots of creek crossings, especially on Dry Creek. Be prepared to balance on logs or get your feet wet!

No promises, but if you need a water refill, I have had good luck drinking the water unfiltered from Dry Creek at the very top where the trail first meets the creek. I wouldn't drink the water down lower unless you are really desperate due to all the trail users, pets, and especially the large flock of sheep that migrate through the middle portion of the trail twice a year.

Runner Notes

This is a great loop anytime of year, but note that Mahalo can be a little tricky to follow when snow covered.

Description

From the Dry Creek trailhead on Bogus Basin Road, head up Dry Creek trail for about two miles. Just after a major creek crossing a trail splits off of the main Dry Creek trail to the right. This is Shingle Creek Trail. Take it.

Shingle Creek follows the creek for several more miles as it gently ascends the drainage, before finally rearing up the last mile or so into a very steep finish. If you brought your dog you may want to stop and let them get a drink of water from the creek before the trail ascends the ridge to your left, as there will be no water on Mahalo.

Shingle Creek meets up with Dry Creek about 30 yards below the Boise Ridge Road. Head to the Ridge Road and take a left. Enjoy the views as you saunter along the rolling dirt road high above the Treasure Valley.

After approximately 2.5 miles you'll come to road 275 C (note that on Google Maps it is erroneously labeled 175 C). This will be the second signed dirt road on the right. Turn right on 275 C.

After about 1/3 of a mile heading downhill on the road, you'll come to a gate. After going around the gate keep an eye out on the right-hand side for an indistinct and unlabeled singletrack. This is the start of Mahalo. It is no more than 100 or 200 yards past the gate.

Once on the trail, enjoy the winding, rolling singletrack through the dense forest. I dare you to try not to host an ear to ear grin the whole time! During the summer, expect to see a lot of wildflowers on this trail

As all good things must come to an end, so too does Mahalo. At the end of the singletrack you'll come to a T intersection with a doubletrack trail. Turn right (or turn left and go explore, many more miles of excellent run are to be found in the Daggett Creek area...just make sure to bring a map or the Trail Run Project mobile app so you can find your way back!).

The doubletrack eventually intersects back with the Boise Ridge Road, where you need to turn left.

Run back along the ridge road about a 1.5 miles to where you came from, and turn right to get onto Dry Creek Trail. Pass the Shingle Creek trail turnoff that you came up on the left, and keep heading down Dry Creek. Make your way over the rocks, across the logs, and through the creek crossings all the way back down to your car.

Flora & Fauna

You'll start down low in the sage brush, but quickly ascend into the shade of many trees thanks to the year-round flowing water in Shingle and Dry Creek.

Contacts

Land Manager: Ridge to Rivers

Shared By:

Cory Harelson

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 8 votes

#1088

Overall
  4.6 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#11

in Idaho

#1,088

Overall
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9,853 Since Apr 29, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Flowers and pine trees abound on the Shingle Creek Trail!
Apr 29, 2015 near Boise, ID
Soak in great views in all directions from the ridge.
May 23, 2017 near Boise, ID
Memorial bench on Mahalo.
Jul 18, 2019 near Boise, ID
Lower Mahalo at sunrise; may the forest be with you.
Jul 18, 2019 near Boise, ID
The narrow singletrack on the Dry Creek descent.
Jul 18, 2019 near Boise, ID
"Dry" Creek!
Aug 3, 2017 near Boise, ID

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Sep 18, 2018
Clint Hartz
Start at 9:45 am