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Charcoal Gulch is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho City, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Length 5.1 mi Elevation gain 921 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: As of April 2020, AllTrails has changed the start point of the trail to accommodate Google/Apple Maps directions. Please access the trail via West Wall St.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (64)
Photos (58)
Recordings (52)
Completed (91)
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Matthew Kreft
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike in the woods. No great views but not a soul on the trail on this cold and crisp late October Monday morning. Enjoyed it.

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Jamie Walter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Nice walk in the woods, no amazing views or anything though

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Jeremy Fowler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking
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Candice Waite
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike, nothing special. I did like that it was only a 1 hour drive to get into the forest, a nice change from the totally exposed Foothills. The Directions link that takes you to Google Maps took us to a weird little dead end. When it tells you to turn on Wallula street ignore it. turn on Wall Street and you're good to go.

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Nancy Harvey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

Great Hike!

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Daniel Reese
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking

Nice little walk in the woods!

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Sarah Carson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Fairly easy “moderate” rated hike. We started at the updated AllTrails trailhead location which was a little confusing as it doesn’t have a charcoal gulch sign at the beginning. You take the trail less than 0.5 miles & then the charcoal gulch sign/trail is off on the right. Hike is easy to follow along the trail. Bring bug spray & water for pups!!! Once you come back down from Charcoal Gulch trail, you can veer right and loop around for an added ~1 mile and end up at the parking lot.

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Kilen Multop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingBugs

Not a bad trail, but does not have any of the following * scenic views * variation in fauna * interesting rocks * water (in late July) * variation in incline (all up on the way up, all down on the way down) All in all, not worth the drive from the treasure valley IMHO. Does have good parking and a bathroom at the trailhead, and is easy to access from Idaho City if you're already there for some reason.

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Space Penguin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Definitely the place to go for social distancing, we only saw one other person the whole hike. Good amount of shade, very forested so no great views. Great beginner hike since the uphill slope is pretty mild. Bring bug repellent of some sort, they like to gather in the shaded places. Only saw stagnant water.

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Ginger Jensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Great treed trail.. went in early July and difficult to find flowing water for my pup. Uphill grade in was a perfect challenge and downhill on the way back! Lots of wildflowers, birds, and butterflies.

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Catherine Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike up and down! Definitely steep in places. No real view at the top. Lots of butterflies and birds!

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Ashley Loeb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 29, 2020

Decent parking lot if you drive all the way back to the trailhead. I did have to use the all trails map a couple of times but was pretty easy to follow otherwise. Nice moderate climb to too with lots of shade and pretty wildflowers. No view at top as others mentioned which is disappointing but otherwise was nice and not crowded when I went on a Sunday afternoon earlier this month!

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Patricia Christiansen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2020

I enjoyed this hike. We went on Saturday, May 16 around 11Am. I parked too soon by the Buena Vista trail head, bit the app helped me find the right trail head. It is at a large parking lot with a vault toilet and sits a fence away from the airstrip. The trail itself is beautiful. There are a few areas with rock piles that might have been from dredging. But over all no buildings along the trail, so you get that isolated, in the wild feeling. Not super busy, we encountered about 6 hiking parties of all ages, young families to seniors. Beautiful scenery, mostly pine trees. There were some pretty purple wild flowers, several types of yellow flowers, and some white bushes almost in full bloom. The trail forks a few times which can be tricky, but with the app we found the right one going up, but after confidently putting my phone away on the way back, got off on a different trail back where 263 forks. But it was a nice change of scenery and took us back to the main trail anyway. I do prefer a loop ,so that was fun. The climb got our heart rate up and our sweat on. And Idaho City is worth the drive an exploring the town is an added plus... more bang for the buck. Beautiful drive and hike!

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Greg Hart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 9, 2020
Walking

Decent trail. Definitely one I’ll check off my list and probably not return to.

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Scott Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 2, 2020
Hiking

Nice forest hike. Solid, steady climb. Starts at trail 262 Buena Vista Trailhead. Lots of parking. Connects at top riddling with atv trail.

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Summer-Tyme Townsend
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 28, 2020
HikingNo shade

This trail is relatively up hill the entire time! There’s so very loud birds and a lot of lavender colored butterflies !

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Leo Scheibe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 27, 2020
Hiking

We went today and the directions took us to the start, at Buena Vista trailhead (it later connects to trail 263, Charcoal Gulch) Nicely wooded area. We came from Boise looking for trees and were quite pleased!

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Kirk Stadelmeyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 23, 2020

The hike up was great. Honestly the top was a real let down, as you knew you were at the top but no real view. Great wildlife and wild flowers though. Was a great way to spend my earth day

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Eli Asanti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 20, 2020
Hiking

Getting there...don't follow Google Maps. Pull into Idaho City, turn N on Main St, then left on Wall st. That will take you right to the trail head. Walk about 1/2 mi and then you'll see a sign for #263 on your right. That's the one you're looking for. Great hike...all uphill there, all down back. When you get to the top, turn left and go until you wanna turn around.

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Jackson Longwill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 18, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. The gps led us to the wrong spot for the trail head and the trail head for this particular hike is within another trail so you’ll want to look for the bueno vista trail and it will be a short walk in before you find this trail head. There isn’t a view at the top, just a power line road. But it was beautiful and the trail was moderately steep. Pretty steady up the whole way. I’d do it again.

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Mike Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 18, 2020
Hiking

As everyone states, don't ask Google to take you to the parking lot. It will take you to a road with a chain that says do not enter. Secondly, don't take AllTrails map as truth. It looks like you can make this a loop, it's not true. The trails that they show are not actually there. We hit two dead ends and had to back track making this a total of just over 10 miles. The trail was fun to hike but AllTrails is not accurate. My wife wanted to subscribe to premium while we were on on this hike, I have forbidden her to do so. Not putting my trust in a service while backcountry backpacking when it's so inaccurate about this. The trail had three or four small spots of ice on it to the side at the lower parts. Nice quiet peaceful hike. Had a few 3" deep water crossings that were fun to splash in. What can I say, I'm a 37 year old child.

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Tristen atkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 12, 2020
Hiking

Not much for views, but a nice forest hike

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Antonia Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 9, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

It was a good trail we didn’t go probably even half way, lots to explore lots of cool rocks and insects.

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Anthony Colon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2020
HikingMuddy
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Monte-Christina Iverson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 4, 2019
Hiking
First to Review

Great hike today! Well kept and easy.....saw a Northern Pygmy Owl over its prey!

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Gillian H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2020
Hiking
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Nancy Harvey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking
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Brian Heffley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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