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Five Mile Gulch, Watchman, and Three Bears Loop

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(174)
Foothill East Park

Five Mile Gulch, Watchman, and Three Bears Loop is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Boise, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 6.0 mi Elevation gain 1,033 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact

Watchman Trail, #3 in the Ridge-to-Rivers system, connects a lower segment of #2, Five Mile Gulch, with the upper end of #26, Three Bears, and #6, Femrite's Patrol. It provides excellent views on fun singletrack.

https://www.ridgetorivers.org/trails/interactive-map/

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (175)
Photos (154)
Recordings (157)
Completed (242)
Eric Thim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking

Good day for a hike. Went clockwise this time. The elevation is harder than going counter-clockwise. I do not feel this hike is for beginners. Will cross the creek a few times and your shoes may get wet. Great views of the Treasure Valley.

View Eric's Recording
Jasmine Garton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingOver grown

My new favorite mini hike with my dogs. Became full of holes on the path.

Eric Thim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
Hiking

This is my favorite hike so far. First 1.8 miles is hiking up elevation. Calf muscles were straining. After that the trials were relatively easy but narrow. Grest views of Boise and the Treasure Valley. Lots of mountain bikers. Would recommend this hike when you want to move up in difficulty.

View Eric's Recording
Paul John
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 27 2020
Hiking

Awesome hike! I never realized this beautiful piece of country was available to the public, thanks to the Noble family! Check out the videos I have made of the hike on my YouTube channel: IdahoMaddie https://youtu.be/EJy8ix2yY0Q

Adora Shumar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 03 2020
HikingNo shade
View Adora's Recording
Sarah Tidwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 02 2020
Hiking

This is a nice trail, and usually isn't too busy. However I took my dog last week, and found over 10 ticks on him after we got back - make sure you stay on the trail, and that your dog has a tick collar!

Jessica Wight
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 29 2020
HikingNo shade

An excellent hike. Lots of dogs, people, and cyclists. Mostly has the trail to myself on a quarantine Wednesday.

View Jessica's Recording
Emma Holley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Apr 16 2020
Hiking

Great views, not too challenging of a hike. Lots of spots I was able to take my 1 1/2 year old out of the pack to wander!

Carolann Whitesell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 01 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Deep snow keeping from following the trail completely. Veered off onto orchard gulch and walked back to the trailhead via Shaw mtn road. Overall beautiful hike with great views

View Carolann's Recording
Andy Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 29 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Hit it early afternoon on a Saturday. Trail was remarkably uncrowded, saw maybe a half-dozen people in the gulch, but nobody after that. Temperature was 45-ish, so of course shorts and t-shirt weather. Unlike the altitudes down near Boise, no real wildlife acitivity or flowers as of yet, but it shouldn't be too much longer. Five Mile Gulch has some wet spots and a small amount of crusty snow, but wasn't stick-to-shoes muddy. Coming out of the top of five mile gulch we hit the first real stretch of snow - a bit slick, but easy enough to stomp in the boots for traction, and the snowy stretch was only about 50 yards long. The whole stretch of Watchman was like that - mostly solid and dry, a few wet but solid areas of sandy trail where snow had recently melted, and a couple-three short stretches of actual snow. The wind up along the ridge on Watchman was a bit brisk - had to break out the windbreaker for a bit. Didn't really hit any real mud until just after Femrite's Patrol (about 4 1/4 miles in), at which point it was a bit too late to turn around. Was only a hundred yards or so, and we did our best not to damage the trail. All in all, a very pleasant hike. Took us right at 2 1/2 hours.

View Andy's Recording
Anthony Colon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 15 2020
HikingMuddyRockySnow

poles recommended, nice hike but not recommended for kids.

View Anthony 's Recording
Bryce Pielstick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 08 2020
HikingSnow

Great 2 hour trail. Had a bit of snow on the shady side of the hills and some wind at the top, but all in all it was a nice hike.

View Bryce's Recording
Pilar York
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 03 2020
Hiking

Trail is still pretty snowy on top, be careful! Went later in the day so got cold on top. One of my favorite trails and the dogs love to run free .

Danielle Durham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 01 2020
HikingSnow
View Danielle's Recording
LL L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 02 2019
Hiking

Lovely. Best Boise foothills hike I've been on. The dog and I chose to walk the loop counterclockwise. The initial incline isn't bad and the babbling stream was a cheery soundtrack. :-) Once we leveled out, we enjoyed panoramic views of the hills and eventually the entire Treasure Valley as the trail hugs the sides of the hills, winding in and out along the curves. Watch for bikers - generally friendly - but the trail is single file and a fall could be disastrous, so give them space. Last two miles are steadily downhill and go through a kind of prairie-ish area... It was in the mid-30s, so the lack of shade wasn't an issue, but bring water and snacks. Six miles will work up an appetite. We'll be going again for sure.

Jessica Basler Bullock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 02 2019
Hiking

We, and our dog had a wonderful time! This trail is just over 7 miles when you include the short trek back to Rocky Canyon road and to the parking area :) We had our dog off-leash, as it is allowed on this trail.. but keep in mind, there are always people who will gripe about that ;) Remember to pick up your poops!! Also, be aware that you may encounter less-than-polite Mountain Bikers

Tony Farmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 24 2019
Hiking

A good loop hike very close to Boise. Some shade in spots, but pretty sparse. Bring plenty of water or a filter for the creeks and sunscreen. There was a gradual incline of about 800 feet in first two miles traveling counter clockwise. If "moderate" hikes are your speed, this is just that. The only pitfall we encountered was quite a bit of dog feces directly on the trail... Tread carefully, and enjoy the views of Table Rock and the upper Treasure Valley!

Kirk Stadelmeyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 28 2019
Hiking

Loved it

Justin Taliaferro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 27 2019
Hiking

Great trail. if it is hot start early and take it clockwise so you are on the shady side and close to the cooler valley and stream towards the end of the hike. There were a fair amount of mountain bikes and several folks were out with their dogs. I would definately recommend.

View Justin's Recording
Andy Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 20 2019
Hiking

Did this one as a reverse of the track given here (Three Bears to Watchman to Five Mile Gulch). Although that made for a grunt climb at first, it was the way to go for a July hike, as it put the no-shade half of the hike in the beginning, and brought us down into the coolness and shade of Five Mile Gulch (and the welcome cold stream water for hat and shirt dipping) for the last half. First half of the hike started out with a gnarly uphill, but it got more reasonable after the first mile or so. Nice views of the Boise valley, if you're into that sort of thing. Otherwise, typical foothills vegetation. Not much in the way of wildlife, other than a few ravens be-bopping around on a rock outcropping at about the 2 1/2 mile mark, and the usual mormon crickets. Trail traffic got pretty heavy once we got down into Five Mile Gulch -- had to step aside a lot for mountain bikers grinding their way up the trail. Five Mile Gulch itself was super pretty, and made the last half of the hike extremely pleasant. Definitely one of the nicer foothills hikes!

Tabitha Tyrrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 07 2019
Hiking

This is a great trail. Nice views, lots of shade in the beginning miles, and not overly crowded.

Matt G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 06 2019
Running

This is one of my favorite routes. Beautiful views. Single track. Streams, tall grass and trees. I love it.

Hunter Michael
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 16 2019
HikingBugsNo shade

The 5 mile trail is great if you’re traveling with your dog because there are plenty of opportunities for them to take a dip and cool off. It’s a very easy trek until you get to the Watchman stretch where it’s a gradual climb to a beautiful view the rest of the trail. We encountered a lot of beefy grasshoppers along the narrow ridge of Watchman but worth the view. Bring a large water bottle for yourself and you’ll be fine. Lovely trek and would do again! 5/5!!

Marlene Tromp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 12 2019
Hiking

Peaceful trail with wildflowers, the babbling creek, and wide views.

Kat Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 10 2019
Hiking

fun trail. mostly pretty flat and easy but theres a few times that really made me work. took me about 2.5 hrs with my pooch. saw a northern American racer

View Kat's Recording
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