The Hard Guy Trail is one of the Ridge to Rivers system trails in the Boise Foothills and for hikers provides probably the most direct route to the summit of Boise Peak. Even though it is the most direct route(besides the drive up of course!) it is still quite a long approach. The best access to this trail is from the Corrals Trailhead on Bogus Basin road. The lower portion of the trail is in desert country and offers no shade whatsoever. The higher portion is in the thickly forested edge of the Boise National Forest.
Hard Guy is Trail No. 33 in the ridge to Rivers System. This route also utilizes the Boise Ridge Road, Forest Road 275E, and part of the Corrals Trail No. 31. The total roundtrip mileage is about 10 miles (5 in, 5 out) with 3100 ft. of elevation gain.
To get to the Corrals Trail head from I-84, take the Vista exit and travel North all the way to Bannock St. (It will be directly in front of the state capitol.) Turn left on Bannock and go to 13th St. Turn right on 13th and follow it all the way to Bogus Basin Road. You will pass through the Hyde Park Historic District, past Camel's Back Park and curve to the left where 13th becomes Hill Road. After the curve you will come to a stoplight. This is the intersection of Bogus Basin Road and Hill Road. Turn right onto Bogus Basin and follow it for about 2 miles to the trailhead which is just off the right side of the road. You will have a clear view of Boise Peak from there.
From the trailhead you will start out on the Corrals Trail (No.31) and stay on it for about 1.5 miles. You will then come to the junction of the Corrals and Hard Guy trails. Hard Guy takes of to the left so you should follow that. You will pass through a gate and start to head down into a ravine to cross Crane Creek. From there on Hard Guy will constantly gain elevation and take you to the top of a beautiful ridge with deep ravines on either side. Boise Peak is visible almost the entire time so your goal is always in sight. (This entire lower portion is all desert and there is NO shade available so be prepared!) Once you're to the top of the ridge it will start to wind its way towards a prominent point (Pt. 5348)just to the North of Boise Peak. This point is where there begins to be a few scattered pine trees here and there. On the south shoulder of this point there is a weather station you will pass. (During the spring there is quite an assortment of wildflowers along the way as well!) At about the time you get to Pt. 5348 you'll begin to notice a lot of dead, burned brush and trees. These are remnants from what must have been a fairly recent fire. Farther up near the top of the Boise Ridge there are quite a few burned trees as a result of this fire.
Map of the Route
Just past Pt. 5348 you'll enter the Boise National Forest and come to the Shingle Creek Trailhead. This is where the trail joins the Boise Ridge Road so follow the road to the south as it climbs up to Eagleson Summit. Once you're at the summit you'll see FR 275E goin to the North. Follow it til it ends about 1/2 mile farther up and then you'll have to bushwhack your way to the summit for the last half mile.
The summit is a broad forested area with a few rocky outcroppings. The highest one is to the southeast edge of the top.
You'll need sunscreen and LOTS of water. There is one creek about 2 miles in where you can get water and that is it. Most of this route is in a desert so there's no shade and it can be quite hot in the summer. Be prepared for heat!
The mountain is not techincal in any way but you will need to be prepared for a little off-trail work near the top.
For another description of the Hard Guy trail click on this