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In French, “boise” means “wooded” and this is evident in the 25-mile aptly named Boise River Greenbelt, a tree-lined pathway that follows the Boise River as it snakes through the heart of the city. When you book an RV in Boise, you can enjoy this verdant corridor that doubles as your connection to downtown. Walking, jogging or cycling along the Greenbelt, under towering trees with abundant wildlife in sight, you will forget that Boise is the state capital and most populous city of Idaho, and perhaps for this reason, one of the most livable cities in the United States. That impression is strengthened by the fact that Boise has a high rate of bicycle commuters, even as ValleyRide buses take commuters around town. The main artery, I-84, connects Boise to nearby cities like Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, Utah. A five-mile stretch of that freeway called “The Connector” links the interstate to the downtown area.
Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state, so you don’t have to go far to experience the wonderful outdoors with the Boise motorhome rental. Just 10 miles southeast of the city center, along the South Federal Way, are remnants of the historic Oregon Trail which fur traders and eventually settlers used to journey from the Missouri River to Oregon valleys. Follow in the footsteps of the pioneers as they headed west and explore the Oregon Trail Reserve’s many walking paths according to your fitness level. From this elevated point, admire the spectacular views of the Boise Foothills and the Barber Valley.
To see ruts the wagons made as they journeyed west, drive your Boise camper rental to the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, a little more than 100 miles southeast. The real stars here though are fossils of Pliocene epoch horses that allowed paleontologists to conclude that horses evolved in North America. Fossils of over 200 other species can also be found here.
At Craters of the Moon National Park, 80 miles down the same direction, a different experience awaits. Drive the Loop Road with your Boise RV rental to view cinder cones, explore a small portion of the lava field on a paved trail, discover a series of lava tube caves, do some backcountry hiking, or gaze up at the Milky Way, thanks to the park’s newly received status as an International Dark Sky Park.
Head 160 miles east of Boise and combine scenic road views with wildlife watching on your way to the Sawtooths, a mountain range rising up to more than 10,000 feet. Follow Highway 21 with the Boise travel trailer rental and gradually climb to 5,000 feet at Banner Summit, where you’ll begin to see coyotes, elk, deer, and hawks. Idaho City is a perfect place to stop along the way if you wish to learn about Idaho’s Gold Rush in late 1800s.
Within 10 miles of the city center, there are several RV park options for the Boise RV rental by owner. Leafy Mountain View RV Park is the only RV park within city limits and therefore connected to the city’s great-tasting water. Wake up to glorious mountain views, jog around the grass yards, or bike to the Greenbelt. The park offers full hookup sites, coin-operated laundry facilities, clean restrooms and showers, and access for persons with limited mobility. Find a Walmart within four miles and several gas stations less than a mile away.
Boise Riverside RV Park is about five miles away in the opposite direction. You can find water, sewer and electrical hookups, clean laundry and shower facilities, large common areas, picnic areas, bike rentals, river access and propane onsite at animal-friendly Boise Riverside RV Park. You’ll find plenty of restaurants nearby, a couple of golf courses within two miles, and whitewater adventure within 20 miles. The closest Walmart is within four miles, while the nearest gas is within a quarter mile drive in your Boise motorhome rental.
Get closer to the Sawtooths in Ketchum, where you can park at The Meadows RV Park. This park offers full hookups, restrooms, showers, and access to laundry facilities. If you can fill your water tanks or find a dumping station for your wastewater elsewhere, you can stay for a night or more at Craters of the Moon’s seasonal Lava Flow Campground. The views, the solitude and the sheer geology of the area are worth the little sacrifice.
There’s more to this “City of Trees” than the Greenbelt. As the state capital, most of the museums are located here, and a great introduction to the area is a visit to the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology. After all, gold was found here in the mid-1800s. The Gold Rush and its resulting fortunes sparked many of the crimes committed by the West’s most daring criminals. Next door, take a look inside the Old Idaho State Penitentiary, which was functional from 1872 until 1973. The Military Museum and the State Museum are also worth a stop to understand the state’s history, nature and culture.
Take a walk around the serene Botanical Gardens or Kathryn Albertson Park, and admire contemporary art at the Boise Art Museum. See raptors in captivity at the World Center for Birds of Prey, or volunteer to band birds at the Intermountain Bird Observatory. With your Boise RV rental parked in a safe campground, hop on the ValleyRide or put the pedal to metal to get to the downtown’s other attractions. Meet animals from around the world at Zoo Boise, and see fish clearly through underwater viewing windows along the stream at MK Nature Center. Don’t forget to drop by at the State Capitol and, if you’re game, ring the bell at the foot of the steps.