So much attention has been directed to the different Foothills developments that Boiseans have had a tendency to ignore Table Rock, one of the city's greatest natural wonders.

Just watch for the White Cross.  It overlooks the city as well as the whole valley.  You easily can see more than 100 miles into Owyhee County and Oregon from Table Rock.

Similar to the Depot, which a majority of the time is closed to the public, Table Rock is literally a landmark hidden from plain view.  There should be directional signs all across the city to promote it.  This magnificent public area needs to be shared with both residents and visitors.  It is only open currently during daylight hours.  However, if there was enough public interest, I am sure we could get it changed.

To the Californians who all seem to be moving to Boise, you will appreciate the fact that there is a spot here that might rival San Francisco's Twin Peaks or Los Angeles' Griffith Park as a magnificent scenic overlook.

Sunsets at Table Rock are spectacular, and the Bogus Basin forested mountains appear to be so close you can touch them.  You actually look down at airplanes that land at Gowen Field.  For old and young people alike, it can provide you with a good map lesson to identify Capitol Building, the Depot and other Boise area landmarks.

Idaho Historical Society owns the land.  During daylight hours it is open to the public.  Towns in the Midwest would kill to have a view like this!  We believe either Boise City, the Foothills Preservation Committee or State Parks Department should properly develop the overlook.  Everyone should pitch in so that the road can be improved and safety railings can be put up around the sharp drop-offs.

To get a good sense of the solitude and spectacular view, just drive down Reserve Street in the back of St. Luke's Hospital.  Drive past the fire station, and then follow the road that winds up hill.  On Table Rock road, turn right.  You have missed the turn if you start to go downhill.  Be sure when you are going over the speed bumps that you drive slowly.

Eventually the road turns into gravel.  However, if you drive carefully you will reach the top safely.  Enjoy the view.  Make sure you send us photos along with your thoughts of the area.

One thing that people tend to notice right away when they are in downtown Boise looking to Table Rock is how close the peak is.  In fact it is less than three miles away.

With the exception of San Francisco's Twin Peaks and Phoenix's Camelback Mountain, there isn't a greater urban hiking experience that is so near a major city in all of the US.  At 3,652 feet, the peak doesn't rival Mt. Borah.  However, this unique geography is quite amazing in terms of its stunning views.

From the flat-topped mountain crest, on clear days there are vistas extending southwest and south to Owyhee Mountains, which is almost 50 miles away.  When you look to the north, the Boise mountain forested ridge line appears to be close enough that you could touch it.

Hikers can go on a 90-foot gain, four-mile loop hike.  By integrating multiple non-motorized trails, they can escape all the crowds.  There are a couple steep parts.  However, they last for only about a quarter of a mile.  The route weaves its way in between boulders, goes through sagebrush, before circling around Table Rock and then descending to an open hillside that offers spectacular views.  Try to plan your hike so that at sunset you are on the top of Table Rock.  This will provide you with an unforgettable experience as the sun is setting.

Ascend onto Tram Trail (No. 14), from the head of the trail, which is 1.2 miles to the Table Rock Quarry Trail (No. 17) junction.  Then keep going straight.  The trail will veer to the left and travel along the back of Table Rock, where it reaches a parking area close to the apex of the peak.  Go across this parking area and keep going northwest to the peak's edge, which is 1,000 feet above Boise's downtown skyline.  After you enjoy the incredible view, make your descent down Table Rock Trail (No. 15).  You will pass several placards that contain information on the area's geological history.

At Table Rock Trail (No. 16) turn left to the junction with Rock Garden Trail (No. 16A).  Make a right turn.  Immediately the trail splits.  You will want to go on the left fork (No. 16B).  Make your descent to return to Tram Trail.  Then make a right turn and hike half a mile back to the trail head.

There are numerous intersecting trails that are both signed and unsigned.  It can be kind of confusing.  Not all of the intersections are listed on the trail map for Ridge to Rivers.  However, it is hard to get lost due to all the open terrain.  Also, Table Rock is ever looming and provides a good reference for your location.  During the winter, avoid the trails.  When the temperature goes above freezing the trails will probably be muddy and they can get damaged very easily.

You reach the trail head from the Broadway and Warm Spring avenues interaction.  Drive east 2.1 miles on Warm Springs to Warm Springs Golf Course,  then turn right,  park in the big parking area.  On the other side of Warm Springs is the trail head.