Skip to main content


A large foothills fire in 1959, followed by several torrential rain storms sent a wall of mud and debris into the North and East ends of Boise. This event raised community awareness of the importance of a healthy watershed in the foothills. With highly erosive soils, the vegetative cover, especially grasses, helps hold the soil in place and allows for greater absorption of runoff from snow and rain.

Because of the fragility, much of our management effort is focused on minimizing erosion. Trails and roads are often the biggest source of erosion so it is important to provide regular maintenance to divert water frequently. If left unattended water can run long distances, building momentum and volume along the way and increasing erosion.

You can help maintain a healthy watershed by staying only on designated Ridge to Rivers system trails.