An April 2006 trip
to Boise by Wildcat Dianne
Quote: A rare payday off from work meant a fun day with my travel companions Loki and Katie to some of North Boise's sights and sounds.
1. Hyde Park. Located between 13th and 15th Streets and Eastman Street, it is a popular residence for many students and has many eateries and shops for one to enjoy.
2. Camel's Back Park is located on 13th and Heron Streets and is a great place for kids to play or for one to have a picnic. It is also the location of Hull's Gulch, a series of hilly trails that allows one to hike and climb up the hills to see some of the best scenery of Boise and what it has to offer.
3. Another park with a lot of trails, but flatter, is Veterans Park on Veterans Parkway and 36th Street. It has many bridges and trails, and is part of the Boise Greenbelt and is on the Boise River. It is also home to the first POW monument built in the USA and honors the veterans of many of the foreign wars the USA has been involved in.
Bring plenty of water, because after you tackle these trails, you are going to need it, and Boise can get over 100 degrees F in the summertime, so don't try climbing Hull's Gulch in the heat of summer. A hat is a plus, because the sun can be murder on a person who sunburns easily.
As of April 20, 2006, the Boise River was in danger of overflowing its banks in certain areas of Boise's Greenbelt. As of April 14, Veterans Park wasn't affected by the floods, but make sure you check with the local news or online to see which parks are closed to the public or should not be visited due to flooding.
To get to Veterans Park, take State Street down to 36th Street and take a right if you are coming from Eagle or left from downtown Boise. You can see the park from State Street and park in the parking lot on 36th Street, or park on Clover Street on the other side of the park.
To get to Hyde Park, Camel's Back Park, and Hull's Gulch from outside of Boise, take I-84 East and get onto Route 184. Take the River Street exit off of 184 and turn left at the off ramp. Follow 15th Street for about 1 1/2 miles and take a right at Heron Street. Hull's Gulch Park is located on Heron and 13th Streets, and there is a parking lot, or you can park on the street.
Hyde Park and several of the old Victorian Houses on Harrison Street are only a couple of blocks from Camel's Back Park, and it's best to either leave your car at the park or park it on a side street from the businesses in Hyde Park.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 15, 2006
Goody's Goodies Ice Cream and Candy Store
North 13th Street
Attraction | "Veterans Park"
So I thought we could go to Veterans Park, which is located a couple of miles down the road from the Home Depot I work in. After Loki and Katie charmed all of my coworkers with their lovable personalities and were spoiled with spaghetti from a spaghetti feed there, we were off to the park to burn off the calories.
Veterans Park is located on Veterans Parkway in Boise's North End and faces 36th and State Streets, too. I missed the turn onto 36th Street for the parking lot, but I was able to turn onto Clover Street, park my car at a back entrance, and let Loki and Katie loose for their walk.
Boise Veterans Park is one of many parks throughout Idaho that is dedicated to the veterans of many wars that the USA was involved in through the centuries. It's a small park (78 acres) that has many facilities for picnics and a playground for children of all ages to play in. Veterans Park also has many trails that are connected to the Boise Greenbelt for walkers and their pets to walk on or bikers to use. There are many canals and waterways to observe the waterfowl that inhabit the area, but my little angels, Loki and Katie, decided to take their first swim of the season in the water, and I was stuck with two wet, stinky dogs for the ride home. There are signs posted on the water's edge saying no swimming or wading, but Loki and Katie thought that excluded them. Luckily we were not caught by the squirrel patrol (park patrol), who were said to have been on duty nearby!
Veterans Park is also home to several war memorials, including the first Prisoner of War Memorial in the USA, a memorial to Idaho's Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients, and a Korean War Memorial honoring veterans of "The Forgotten War," that are worth a short stop to observe and remember those who sacrificed so much.
Veterans Park is open all year-round from sunrise to sunset. Make sure you keep your dogs near you and leashed in case there is trouble, as many vagrants spend time in this park drinking cheap beer and hanging out. Loki and Katie greeted a couple of the vagrants, and they seemed harmless, but just be careful. Many of the picnic facilities and a small amphitheater are available by reservation for parties and weddings if desired.
Veterans Memorial Park
960 Veterans Parkway
Boise, Idaho 83703
Boise Parks Office:
Attraction | "Camel's Back Park and Hull's Gulch, Part I"
Last week after discovering the little gem called Hyde Park in Boise's North End I told Mom about it and suggested we take our dogs (Loki and Katie) to Camel's Back Park, which hosts some great hiking trails and is the gateway to several other trails that lead to the Boise foothills and other destinations in Boise.Camel's Back Park is located on Heron and 13th Streets, and is a huge park that is popular with students from nearby Boise State University and families who live in the North End. It is named Camel's Back Park because of the hump-shaped hills of Hull's Gulch that surround it.Many young children and their parents were enjoying the park's playground and picnic facilities but I wanted to avoid the crowds and tackle Hull's Gulch, the big hump that overlooks the park and the city of Boise. Mom stayed in the park while Loki, Katie, and I began our conquest of Hull's Gulch via one of the less steep trails that surround the hill. Several children were sliding down the dune-like hill that faces Camel's Back Park, but due to the steepness of the hill I decided to pass on that activity. The bottom part of Hull's Gulch is easy to maneuver for beginner walkers, but make sure you are in good shape for that and what is to come further up the trails. The hill was covered with beautiful yellow wildflowers, and Loki and Katie were frolicking in them instead of keeping to the trails. About halfway up the hill to the top of Hull's Gulch, Katie gave up her conquest and went down the opposite side of the hill to Mom. At first I thought she had fallen off the hill or gotten lost, but I was able to see her a few minutes later, running on the trail, greeting other people hiking along. So, it was Loki and I alone to conquer Hull's Gulch.Halfway up Hull's Gulch, you can see Camel's Back Park and downtown Boise's spectacular panorama. Mom was watching Loki and I during our entire climb, and after Katie joined her she sat under a tree for shade and to watch us.
The rest of this journal is to be continued in another entry.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 20, 2006
Camel's Back Park
1200 Heron St (13th And Heron Streets)
Boise, Idaho 83702
Boise Parks Office:
Attraction | "Camel's Back Park and Hull's Gulch Part II"
The backside of the hill at Hull's Gulch faces the Boise Foothills and is very steep with narrow paths. But steep trails and drops didn't stop my intrepid German Shepherd from joining my on the trail by climbing up the hill. Like Edmond Hillary and his trusty Sherpa guide Tenzig Norgay at Mount Everest in 1953, Loki and I were determined to get to the top, and Loki was determined to make that climb up the hill to be with me. After falling down a little bit down the hill, Loki went to a lower spot to navigate the hill and successfully made it up to me on the trail. I praised Loki for his bravery and determination, and we continued on up a steep set of stairs that was the last part leading up to the top of Hull's Gulch.
There were a couple of joggers that were jogging up to the top of Hull's Gulch as Loki and I walked up the hill, and Loki and I went to the side of the trail to let them pass, and I would let them know that Loki was a friendly dog. Loki was too tired and sore to acknowledge the people going up or coming down the hill, but he was determined to get to the top of Hull's Gulch with me no matter what.
Finally, Loki and I made it up the hill and we took a break to admire the beautiful views of Boise and its environs. To the south of Hull's Gulch, you can see Hyde Park and the North End. When you look east of the Gulch, you are greeted with a spectacular view of downtown Boise with the State House dominating the skyline. On the north and west sides of Hull's Gulch, you can see the Boise Foothills, the gateway to Bogus Basin and other sights including many of the homes of some of Boise's wealthier citizens, including potato and french fry baron JR Simplot's hilltop home.
After catching our breath and admiring the scenery before us, Loki and I made our way down the steep hill to Mom and Katie. The trip down was more treacherous than the uphill climb up Hull's Gulch, and Loki was feeling the effects of his arthritis, but he was trooping along.
I definitely recommend that you are in very good physical condition when you try to conquer Hull's Gulch and wear good shoes. I am in pretty good shape, and Loki was stiff and sore after getting off the hill and it took a couple of hours for him to recover from his adventure with his Mommy Dianne.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 21, 2006