Kirk Hill Trail
Length: 1-2 miles
Duration: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 500-800 feet
Activities: Hiking, trail running
Crowds: Moderate traffic
Kirk Hill sits above the curve where South 19th turns west to head toward Hyalite and Cottonwood Rd. An easy ten minutes from town, it's a great place to get out for a hike or run if you're pressed for time. You'll stroll into an old-growth aspen and Douglas-fir forest straight out of the parking lot, giving these trails a more wild feel than suggested by their easy access—although there are ample steps, handrails, and benches to keep things comfortable. Choose one of several different short loop options, or if you're feeling more ambitious, keep going up the hill and link into the expansive network of trails and Forest Service roads between Hyalite and Sourdough canyons.
Sections of the Kirk Hill trails are quite steep and can be dicey in wet or icy conditions; a set of microspikes will give you plenty of purchase to explore the area in winter. As with anywhere, avoid hiking here if the trails are very muddy as the snow is melting in spring, or after a big rainstorm. This area is well shaded, which means it takes a bit longer to dry out, but also provides cool solace on a hot summer day.
Head down South 19th for 6 miles from Main St. The Kirk Hill parking lot will be on your left, just as the the road is curving west.