Our 5 favorite outdoor activities near campus

Last Updated 21 August, 2018

The Boise Valley is a prime destination for those who love to be outside. If you’ve got a knack for the outdoors, but aren’t too crazy about driving a ways to get there, try exploring one of these top 5 outdoor activities that are within an hour of NNU.

Float the Boise River
Ranked the #1 activity in Boise, floating the Boise River is a super fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends. Whether on an inner tube, raft or paddle board, people can be found on the water at just about anytime of day. You can also swim or fish along the banks or jump off one of the many bridges along the way if you’re feeling brave.

Have a picnic in the park
A great way to be outside without having to go too far from campus is by going to the park, and lucky for you, there’s almost 30 parks in Nampa alone! Besides going for a stroll or sitting under a tree (or, let’s be honest, swinging on the swing), local parks offer a lot of outdoor activities. Frisbee golf is a popular sport in Nampa, and courses can be found at dozens of parks around the valley. You can also find spots for sand volleyball, bocce ball, soccer and more. Grab a couple of friends and a picnic lunch and head to the park for some sun and a great time.

Explore Jump Creek Canyon
Have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? Jump Creek Canyon is home to a hidden waterfall, 600 foot cliffs and hiking trail. Hiking to the waterfall is a widely popular activity among students, as it’s a great destination for a picnic and a swim in the pool at the base of the falls. Between the natural pool and hiking through the wildlife, exploring Jump Creek is the perfect summer or spring activity, but if you’re for a little cold weather, the falls are simply beautiful when ice and snow take over. No matter the time of year, the 45 minute trip to Jump Creek can offer hours of entertainment.

Hike & bike in nearby foothills
NNU is surrounded by gorgeous mountain ranges, but if you want the experience without the distance, check out some of the many foothills that the valley has to offer. Just over 20 minutes from campus, the town of Marsing is home to many foothills ready to explore. Enjoy the view of the countryside as you mountain bike over the dirt trails, hike through the hills and climb the massive rock formations. Along the way, you may just spot a hawk, rattlesnake or herd of wild horses.

Catch a sunset
Idaho is famous for its gorgeous sunsets, and for good reason. Here’s a few popular destinations to try and catch one close to campus:

  • Lake Lowell - Just minutes from campus, Lake Lowell is the perfect place to sit on the dock and watch the sun set over the water.
  • Lizard Butte - Near the city of Marsing, Lizard Butte is an ancient geological landmark named after its uncanny resemblance to a lizard. Hike up this unique hill and stop to watch the sky change colors over the vast countryside.
  • Table Rock - Many students’ favorite hiking destinations, Boise’s Table Rock looks over the city and offers one of the best views in the valley.

For more opportunities to get outside and find adventure in the world around you, check out NNU’s outdoors club, Journeys Outfitting Co.