Beautiful Boise: Table Rock


Photo by: Ally Metzler

A look from the start of the hike, before you venture to the top.

By: Ally Metzler, Lead Photographer/Social Media Manager/Staff Reporter

This next place featured on Beautiful Boise is not really a place, but a final destination. It goes by the name of Table Rock, a hike just off the Old Idaho Penitentiary that is impossible to forget. 

Now, this isn’t like any other hike. As you venture further into the foothills of this hike, you get closer to the glorious hill top where you are then accompanied by the 60 foot white cross that towers over the entire city of Boise. The history of this cross goes back all the way to 1956. Built by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees Club, and now adopted by the Rotary club of Boise, this monumental idol lived out its days in the 1950s silently advocating for Christianity across the city. In this time period, the cross stood for pro-Christianity, anti-communist and anti-atheist reasons.

Given that this statue is so hard to ignore, people started noticing it and controversy started to stem when citizens found out the cross was built on government land, not purchased by the Jaycees. So, the club bought the land for 100 dollars in 1970 to ensure that the cross would have a forever home. This did not put a stop to the removal attempts though; in 1999, atheist Rob Sherman worked to get this removed, not liking the “Christian roots” behind the statue. Nevertheless, the cross held its ground. As the cross stands today, it serves a little lighter of a purpose. For some, yes, the cross stands for Christianity, but for most, the Table Rock Cross stands for peace and community throughout each face that looks upon it. 

This 3.7 mile loop trail pushes you till the very end, but the greatest challenges come with the greatest rewards. At the top, you can have your “Lion King” moment as you look down upon our beautiful city. You can find all sorts of graffiti, alluring murals, rock formations, small caves and most importantly, you can find a place to sit down and rest after traveling 895 feet in elevation. The Table Rock hike is not only a great source of exercise or a great way to find the beauty our city has to offer but a perfect figure to look down upon all our heads.

For more information on the hike itself, visit this website.