On the hunt for the best Idaho hikes near breweries? Home to more than 50 craft breweries, the Gem State is a treasure trove of high-caliber craft beer. And where the beer flows, the trails beckon. Peer out over lakes Pend Oreille and Coeur d’Alene. Wind your way beneath evergreens on the Stack Rock Trail in the Boise Foothills. Trek out to thundering Shoshone Falls from downtown Twin Falls. At the end of each Idaho adventure, you’re sure to find a barstool and a brew to cool down with. Cheers to that!
Mickinnick Trail #13
- Location: 400 Woodland Drive, 3.4 miles north of downtown Sandpoint
- Distance: 7.1 miles
- Difficulty: More challenging, with some steep switchbacks
- Best For: Panoramic views of Lake Pend Oreille
Fiercely loved by locals, Mickinnick Trail #13 is named after Mick and Nicky Pleass, who spent years sailing around the world before settling in Sandpoint in 1989. Drawn to the area during a backpacking trip, the Pleasses dreamt of building their own trail near town. When Mick passed away in 1996, Nicky carried out his vision by donating 160 acres of land to the U.S. Forest Service. In 2005, the Mickinnick Trail was born.
The name of this popular 7.1-mile jaunt combines Mick and Nicky’s names with kinnikinnick or bearberry—a native plant that grows along the trail. Only 10 minutes from Sandpoint, Mickinnick Trail #13 is the most popular hike in the county, and for good reason. In a brief 3.5 miles, it climbs 2,150 feet up rocky and forested slopes, providing panoramic views of Idaho’s largest lake, Pend Oreille, along the way.
Brothers Mickey and Duffy Mahoney launched MickDuff’s Brewing Company in 2006—inspired by childhood vacations, they chose the tourist-friendly beach town of Sandpoint as home base. Crafted on-site at the brewery’s two Sandpoint locations, MickDuff’s beers are entirely unfiltered and unpasteurized. Inside the brewpub, the food is straight out of a locavore’s dream. Think high-fructose-corn-syrup-free, organic eats like scrumptious salads and locally raised beef burgers. Standout beers include the NOHO American Imperial IPA and the summer seasonal Huckleberry Blonde.
Tubbs Hill Main Trail
- Location: 208 South 3rd Street, along the Coeur d’Alene waterfront
- Distance: 2 miles
- Difficulty: Easy, great for kids
- Best For: A family-friendly scenic loop near downtown
Eager to lace up your hiking boots in downtown Coeur d’Alene? It doesn’t get much more convenient than Tubbs Hill Park, which offers a network of trails reserved for foot traffic along the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Tubbs Hill Main Trail is a 2-mile loop that lets you familiarize yourself with the area.
The loop can be hiked in either direction as it circumnavigates Tubbs Hill. Take your time on the southern section for the best beach access and lake views. Corbin Point—a short detour from the trail—is a can’t-miss destination for hanging out on the rocks. For a more challenging option, hike the Summit Trail, which ascends 2,533 feet to the top of Tubbs Hill, where a small rocky outcropping makes for another sweet break spot. Plan to visit during spring, when arrowleaf balsamroot colors the hill bright yellow and glacier lilies carpet the trail.
Come for the honey badger references and stay for the hoppy brews! Daft Badger Brewing is a cozy brick hangout in the heart of Coeur d’Alene that lets you see into the family-owned brewhouse and smell the suds brewing. Find a high table where you can rest up from your hike and kick back with a Badger’s Bounty IPA or relax into the dark depths of a Josiah’s Revenge Imperial Stout. Be sure to sample an experimental brew from the brewery’s half-barrel pilot system.
Stack Rock Trail
- Location: 1478 North Bogus Basin Road, 15.5 miles north of downtown Boise
- Distance: 6.3 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate, with a steeper climb up to Stack Rock
- Best For: Exploring Stack Rock, a prominent Boise landmark
At the site of an iconic Boise landmark, the Stack Rock Trail is a classic Boise Foothills hiking destination. The wide lollipop loop trail weaves below cool tree cover, dropping several hundred feet before ascending 5,700 feet beneath Stack Rock. Expansive views of the City of Trees and Treasure Valley await, but don’t expect total solitude. With a new trailhead on the bill, Stack Rock is about to become more accessible—and even more popular. So, get it while the getting’s good. Try this hike in the fall for a burst of vibrant color on the trail.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Rob and Keely Landerman, Woodland Empire Ale Craft’s mission is to produce nuanced and creative brews. Part of that objective involves sourcing their ingredients from sustainably minded farms and partners. Many of the beers here are inspired by the natural world and feature seasonal produce like the beers in the Set ’Em Wild, Set ’Em Free Berliner-Style Weisse series. Others are influenced by music, like the year-round favorite Electric Warrior Oatmeal Stout. This is an ideal spot to step outside your beer comfort zone, as Woodland Empire offers an eclectic range of brews, each artfully concocted.
Down by the Snake
- Location: Shoshone Falls Road, just off US-93, 4 miles north of Twin Falls
- Distance: 7.8 miles
- Difficulty: Easy to moderate; lack of tree coverage can make conditions challenging in the heat
- Best For: Drinking in views of Shoshone Falls
Take a stroll through the gorge-ous (see what we did there?) high desert down by the Snake River on the Down by the Snake hiking trail. Begin near the Perrine Bridge, which hovers 486 feet above the Snake River Canyon and attracts BASE jumpers year-round. Pass the Pillar Falls overlook at the 2.8-mile mark before reaching Shoshone Falls after 4.8 miles. Pause to soak up some hard-earned sights of the thundering 212-foot falls, known locally as “Niagara of the West,” before returning to your starting point. Plan to hike Down by the Snake in fall or spring, as a lack of shade can make the trail sweltering in summer.
Located in downtown Twin Falls, Von Scheidt Brewing Company is the city’s answer to the question, “Where can I get a beer around here?” The current taproom opened its doors in 2014, but brewmaster and founder Pat Von Scheidt has been crafting brews since 2009. The spacious taproom routinely hosts live music and serves up ales like the sage-laced Esto Perpetua Ale and the thirst-quenching Smashing Grapefruit Ale. Feeling adventurous? Ask if the brewery has its Idaho Pizza Ale on tap.