Boulder City is a ghost town north of Ketchum, Idaho. It was a galena ore mining town and many of the structures still exist today.
The Boulder City trailhead is located north of Ketchum, Idaho on Highway 75. You travel about 15 minutes out of town on the highway before you reach Boulder Creek Road (Forest Road 184). There is a parking lot right off the highway. If you do not have a 4×4 vehicle with a decent amount of clearance, I would recommend parking here. Otherwise, you can traverse the poorly maintained road to the trailhead that is several miles from the highway. We ran into a large group of sheep before reaching the trailhead.
Hiking to Boulder City
We hiked to Boulder City in early October. The hike to Boulder City is well maintained and very obvious. This 12.5 mile out and back hike is a gradual climb of about 2500 feet. The trail is popular with ATVs but we only encountered a few on our adventure. There are several old log cabins on the way up to the city. It’s interesting to poke around.
The hike works its way up a rock field and into a valley with a bit of a stream running through it. Our feet were a bit wet and it was a bit of work to make your way around the water and slippery rocks up to the basin.
Once you reach the basin, you have a great view of the mountains surrounding the settlement. Log cabins began to appear as we walked along the trail towards the northwest side.
We continued on to where the mine originally stood. There is quite a bit of debris around the entrance. It was fascinating to see.
The remains of the mine are starting to really fall apart and it seems a bit unsafe to actually walk among much of it but it still offered quite a cool glimpse into the past.
It was really cool to imagine living in this area at the time it was operational. It took us nearly 2.5 hours to walk to the site. It would be very difficult living but offered exceptional panoramas of the surrounding mountains.
The hike down was fairly uneventful but provides great views of the valley below. The fall colors were beautiful.