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Exploring City Creek Trails in Pocatello, ID

I’ve heard about the City Creek Trails for years. Shortly after moving to Pocatello, one of my favorite East Idaho photographers posted a picture taken along the trail and I knew I needed to visit.

That was 3 years ago.

Red dragonfly on a twig
But as fall started to settle in, I decided I wasn’t going to put it off any longer. I blocked out a few extra hours from my schedule, donned my hiking boots, and hit the trail. Silly me almost didn’t take my camera—sometimes I like to experience a place first and then come back with my camera after I’ve had time to contemplate the best way to capture its magic. I’m so glad I didn’t give in to that impulse.

I can’t speak for how City Creek looks the rest of the year, but my goodness, it does Fall in style. This was early enough in the season that I wondered if there would even be color yet, but there definitely was.

One orange leaf on a branch of green leaves
There are several trails in the City Creek Trail network, and I opted for the Lower City Creek Trail. The trail takes you up the mountain fairly quickly and gives you lovely glimpses of Pocatello (which were unfortunately obscured by smoke from the fires in California, hence no pictures) as you meander back and forth across the creek. There were stretches that were shaded by aspen and oak interspersed with open areas lined with golden grasses and bushes heavy with berries.

I also spotted lots of birds and a couple of rabbits that I flushed as I walked past their hiding spots. But by far, the most common wildlife sighting of the day was the grasshoppers, who were out there making sure we’ll have plenty of grasshoppers to admire next year.

Grasshopper hiding on a stem of grass

I had the trail mostly to myself, except for a couple of other hikers and one mountain biker. The trail is open for all non-motorized use, including horseback riding, but there were several places where overhanging branches were too low to ride a horse under. As much as I would love to take a horse out there, I think that option would need to be saved for some of the other trails.

When I finished and headed back to the trailhead, I did meet several mountain bikers heading out, and there were a lot more cars in the parking lot. I think I timed my hike well to avoid the “crowds” by going in the early afternoon, but I was happy to see that these trails are well used and well loved—and rightly so. My go-to place for getting out into nature has been the park I’ve lovingly dubbed The Haven, but I think it just found some stiff competition. I can’t wait to get back and explore the rest of the trails, and to see how it looks at different times of year.

Make Space for Joy

Fall is a great time to get out and explore nature near your home. Here are a few ideas for ways to get outside before winter hits:

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood
  • Visit your favorite park
  • Take a drive in the hills
  • Check out a new hiking trail by yourself or with friends
  • Collect leaves to make sun paper prints
  • Visit a pumpkin patch
  • Get lost in a corn maze
  • Plant flower bulbs for pretty blooms in your garden next spring
  • Rake leaves—and definitely jump in the pile when you’re done
  • Host a bonfire night
  • Go camping
  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Go plein air painting
  • Go bird watching
  • Take family pictures

No matter what you choose to do, be intentional about enjoying something wild and colorful this fall!

I’d love to hear about your favorite place to explore in the fall! Tell me about it in the comments below or over on Facebook, or tag your pictures on Instagram with #jestkeptsecret.


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Jess Friedman
Jess is a Canadian-American who’s always ready for the next adventure. She loves all things living, always has a million creative projects in progress, and polishes her nerd badge daily. She is passionate about helping families make and preserve treasured memories that strengthen bonds across generations. You can read more posts by Jess here.

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