There are few things as exciting and inspiring as finding yourself on the top of a mountain, hill or outcropping and seeing a beautiful view. They are natural wonders that continue to captivate the hearts and imaginations of many, year after year. Most of these vistas are gorgeous and getting to them is a great way to spend some free time. However, there are some vistas that may not necessarily be worth your time. Today we have collected a list of the best and worst vistas in the Boise area so you know where you should take your next adventure.

The Best Vistas in Boise

Let’s start with the best vistas. These amazing beauties are not in short supply here in the Boise area. In fact, there are several neighborhoods even that have been developed in and around them so that residents can experience their amazing views on a daily basis. But, without any further ado, here are the best vistas we could find in the Boise area:

Table Rock

Probably the most well-known vista you’ll hear about in the Boise area is Table Rock. Table Rock is a sandstone outcropping that protrudes from the Boise Foothills. This vista overlooks the entire valley; from its heights, you can see from Boise’s East End, through downtown Boise and all the way out to the Oregon border on a clear day.

One neighborhood that allows its residents quick trips to the top of Table Rock is the ever-popular Harris Ranch neighborhood. This neighborhood, located in Southeast Boise (SE Boise), is a great place for people who like to have easy access to the great outdoors like Table Rock.

Stack Rock

This is probably the hardest vista on this list to get to. It is a very long hike up into the mountains, but if you can make it up there, the view is breathtaking with few that rival it. There are trees and mountain steeps as far as the eye can see to the North, East, and South with the foothills and the city off to the west.

Boise Depot

The Boise Depot is another great urban vista that will definitely put your inner photographer on the edge of their seat. This amazing place was once the old train depot but has since been decommissioned and preserved as a historical monument. The view from the Depot though is one to envy. The Depot looks straight down Capitol Boulevard and is directly across downtown Boise from the State Capitol building. It is an incredible vista that gives you a view of Boise’s urban center.  

Shafer Butte

Shafer Butte takes a bit to get to the top of, but if you can make it up there, it is worth it. The hike to Shafer Butte is a 5.2-mile loop that starts and ends near Bogus Basin Ski Resort. It is definitely more of a summer and fall adventure as it is covered in snow most other months of the year. Once you get to the top though, you are greeted by an amazing view of the Boise National Forest, the Treasure Valley, and the slopes at Bogus Basin.

The Worst Vistas in Boise


To be honest, it is really difficult to find a vista that is not worth climbing, but we did find a few here in the Boise area that you may want to pass up the next time someone invites you along.

Mountain View Drive

Mountain View Drive, the section of it west of Curtis Road, is not a super fantastic view. It is one of the easiest ones to get to on this list as you can literally drive down the length of it. The reason that it is not the best view in the world is that it simply overlooks Chinden Boulevard, Garden City, and the Ada County Landfill in the distance. It is a great place to hit on the Fourth of July as it overlooks the fairgrounds where firework shows usually are frequently held.

Initial Point

While the view from Initial Point does have some pluses to it, not to mention it has historical significance, it definitely does not compare to the other views on the top half of this list.

Initial Point was the outcropping that some of the first surveyors of Idaho used to map out the legal boundaries of the state. To do this mapping, they needed a high point that had a good 360-degree view. However, the view is not all that impressive. Initial Point is far from the mountains and forests and is immediately surrounded by sagebrush and barren desert. You can see the mountains in the distance, but they aren’t very clear.

Now, there are a lot more vistas and views in the area you can explore. It is hard to judge them though. What are some of your favorite vistas and views in the Boise, Idaho area?