Camel's Back/Hulls Gulch Reserve

ACRES: 63-Camel's Back, 292-Hulls Gulch  |  TRAILS: 2.34 (Camel's Back), 5.67 (Hulls Gulch)

Protected in 1932

Hulls Gulch Reserve is a 292-acre site north of downtown Boise at the base of the foothills. The majority of this reserve was acquired through a community wide citizen effort over a three-year period from 1991 to 1993. The initial parcel of land – 99 acres – was purchased in the early 1990s through a land trade with United Water, the parent company of Orida Investment Corporation. 

The name "Hulls Gulch" comes from the ephemeral creek that runs from higher up in the foothills through the middle of this property. The reserve is home to two trailheads (The Grove and Lower Hulls Gulch) that are the starting point for some of the 190 miles of Ridge to Rivers trails in the foothills. Hikers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, runners, and horseback riders enjoy the trails in this area. Common wildlife seen throughout the year in Hulls Gulch includes great horned owls, kestrel, coyotes, mule deer, red fox, and species of snakes and lizards. 

The reserve is also home to the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center (JHFLC), operated by the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department. The Center sits on the site of the former McCord house.  It is dedicated to promote (through environmental education, service opportunities, and outreach) the preservation and responsible use of the Foothills; and to foster an understanding and appreciation of our place in the natural world. This center was envisioned in the 2000 Foothills Open Space Management Plan, and became a reality when its doors opened on April 22nd 2005. 

Camel's Back Reserve site is located on the back side of Camel's Back Park. This land along with the Camel's Back Park was acquired by the City of Boise in 1932 from Bernard Lemp, a relative of a former mayor. The reserve portion of the park is 63 acres and is contiguous to Hulls Gulch Reserve.

Health of the Reserve

In 2018, ecological health of the reserve was assessed by field technicians. Monitoring plots were strategically located across the reserve, data was collected at each point to include a species inventory, percent cover of structural functional groups (like invasive species vs. natives), shrub density, erosion and soil stability assessments, and others. Those data are summarized below and help to guide future management treatments and practices for Hulls Gulch Reserve.