Polecat Gulch Reserve

The Polecat Gulch Reserve Trailhead and trails are closed until further notice following a brush fire that started Friday, June 21. Crews are still working on site to control the fire. All users are asked to avoid the area. Thank you for your patience as the Ridge to Rivers team assesses the damage and determines next steps in the coming days.

Polecat Gulch Reserve total acreage is 322 acres. Polecat Gulch Reserve was created in 2003 with the acquisition from the Blessinger family of 120 acres of undeveloped open space followed by several other adjacent acquisitions in 2005, 2010 and 2012. The entire Polecat Gulch Reserve area totals 835 acres which includes 360 acres of Bureau of Land Management. It lies between Cartwright and Collister Roads. The city has allocated $3 million in serial levy funds for property acquisition in this area.

Dogs are only allowed on-leash in Polecat Gulch Reserve due to the sensitive nature of the plants and wildlife. Polecat Gulch Reserve area features 7.5 miles of trails that seamlessly cross Bureau of Land Management and City property. The mature vegetation on the slopes supports mule deer year round and a substantial population of Aase's Onion, a rare plant found in the Boise Foothills.

In 2007, a trailhead parking lot off Cartwright Road was built with a $46,000 grant awarded by the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation. There is currently a small 1930s home on the property where a caretaker lives. A trailhead is now available at the end of North Collister.

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Hours of Operation

Park is open from sunrise to sunset.


9387 N Cartwright Rd

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There is a parking lot available off Cartwright and Collister roads.

Smoking Prohibition

Smoking and vaping are prohibited in all City of Boise parks, including within 20 feet of the Boise River Greenbelt, except in designated areas within Ann Morrison and Julia Davis Parks and at city-owned golf courses.


Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner's risk and expense. You can contact Boise Valley Towing by calling (208) 389-9707.

Health of the Reserve

In 2018, the ecological conditions of Polecat Gulch Reserve were assessed to include plant species inventories, shrub and perennial bunchgrass density, vegetative cover, and more. These data are used to guide management of the reserve.

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