Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve
A day trip to Box Canyon Springs packs a punch with its dramatic views, wildlife sightings, and misty waterfall hiking. The trailhead is easy to find on the GPS and is well signed from the highway. There is a lookout right at the trailhead that serves stunning views of two impressive turquoise pools in the canyon. From the trailhead, you can explore hiking opportunities for a variety of levels. For a shorter adventure, climb over the fence on the provided ladder and walk along the canyon rim for about ½ mile. Look for a bent stake marking a pathway down into the canyon. Carefully make your way down to the springs on the path, which is short but steep. The trail will take you downstream along the creek, past a waterfall, and to the confluence with the Snake River. From here, you can choose to walk back the way you came, or for a longer outing continue along the dirt road and loop up the canyon rim. You can walk all the way back to the trailhead following the canyon’s edge and get a bird’s eye view of Box Canyon Spring. Another option is to hike the loop in reverse, walking along the canyon from the trailhead all the way to the Snake River, looping around on the dirt road and hiking up the creek until the path takes you back up to the canyon rim.
Watch (and listen) for canyon wrens, birds of prey, yellow-bellied marmots, lizards, and other wildlife. Be sure to pack out all your trash and carry a trash bag to help clean up the litter present in the preserve. Be cautious on the canyon rim.
From Wendell (Exit 157 from I-84), drive east on U.S. 46 (Hagerman Road). Turn left on W Point Road. Watch for the sign marking the Box Canyon Springs parking area on your right. Pay the $7 fee (or use your state parks pass) and continue on to the larger parking area at the lookout.
Easy to moderate
Idaho State Park