Table Rock is located directly above downtown Boise, Idaho and is part of the extreme southwestern portion of the Boise Mountains.
Table Rock is to Boise as Camelback Mountain is to Phoenix, the small local downtown mountain that is good for a before or after work climb. The hike, or drive, offers grand views of the Boise skyline, foothills, and valley. It is being submitted not because its an outstanding peak, but because of its popularity and for out of town travelers, such as myself, in search of a short climb.
Table Rock is a relatively rounded hill but has an attractive flat summit with small caves and cliffs below, which make it appear as a giant table. Housing developments cover the lower portions of the western and southern slopes, and a new development has just been approved for the eastern.
Table Rock may be one of the most climbed "mountains" in Idaho. Its close proximity to the third largest city in the northwest, easy access, and excellent trail system allows almost anyone to make it to the summit. The easiest route of course would be to drive to the summit, which is no fun. The most popular route appears to be from the Table Rock Trail from Quarry Park just two miles from downtown, where dozens of people walk, jog, or bike to the top of Table Rock daily.
There are several localized technical climbs and bouldering areas on the slopes near the old quarry on Table Rock. You'll need to have inside contacts with a knowledgeable local to find these, good luck!
Access to Table Rock is from Boise, Idaho. The Boise Municipal Airport is accessed via non-stop flights various cities in the following states.
From the Boise Airport, take Broadway Avenue heading toward downtown. Turn right on Warm Springs Avenue for two miles. Look for signs indicating a turnoff for Old Penetentiary Road, or the Idaho Botanical Gardens on the left.
Make this left and drive to the point where center divide ends. Before entering the botanical gardens, look for a small road leading off to the left. Take this road around a corner to a large dirt parking lots. This is the trailhead.
Table Rock Trail
From the trailhead, take Table Rock Trail that begins switchbacking up the hillside below some homes. After .25 miles the trail proceeds to break into a small valley immedietly below Table Rock and its large cross.
After a brief repreive from the uphill chugging, the trail reaches the base of Table Rock and steeply switchbacks to the summit in a total of about 1.5 miles.
From the summit are grand views of the entire valley as well as the footills. Respect restricted areas near antenaes and the large cross the faces west.
The road to the summit closes routinely at around 9-10 o clock at night, but is otherwise open year-round.
Several important antennaes and towers are located at the summit, stay away or prepare to pay a fine.
Cutting switchbacks or taking short cuts on the trails along Table Rock's slopes have become a problem with damage and erosion issues. Dont be lazy and take the true route!
When To Climb
Summer months in the Boise region can be quite warm, especially in July and August. Temperatures reaching more than 100 degrees are not uncommon. So a either an early start, or very late one, would be best.
Boise annually recieves little snow allowing Table Rock to be climbed throughout the year.
This is a city mountain and I would imagine camping would not only be uncomfortable with so many people but probably illegal.
Boise a wide range of hotels and motels, some within walking distance of the Table Rock Trailhead. This website will provide all the local info needed.
Boise is located along the Snake River Plain, which is basically a high desert plain.
Here are some average and record weather observations from the airport.
|Average January High Temp
|Average July High Temp
|Average January Precip
|Average July Precip
|All Time Record High
|All Time Record Low
The following links will give excellent explanations of the current and future weather for Boise.
- NOAA Future Forecast-A wonderful forecast for the next 7 days.
- NOAA Discussion- A scientific discussion from the NOAA forecast office updated 4 times daily.
- Boise Observation- An in-depth hourly observation from the airport.