Northwest Boise is bound more or less by Hill Road to the north, the Boise river to the south, highway 55 to the west and 36th street to the east, though some would argue that anything west of 28th is more Northwest Boise than North End. There are hot debates around this topic particularly amongst “natives” who take great offense at anything west of 28th being called the north end. But, technically, according to the MLS maps, area 800, Northwest Boise, starts at 36th. For the most part, Northwest Boise is zip code 83703. You’ll find a little bit of 83714 on the western end of the area.
Some things to know about Northwest Boise:
- This area has excellent access to both the Boise River greenbelt system (biking/walking along the Boise river) and the Boise foothills trail system. If you are a hiker/biker, check out the Rivers to Ridges website: http://www.ridgetorivers.org/. I highly recommend ordering one of the printed maps—it’s a great resource!
- There are several commercial hubs in Northwest Boise that make shopping and dining really convenient. 36th & State, Collister & State, 36th & Hill and Glenwood & State offer all sorts of amenities and the area has easy access to libraries, bowling alley, kids gymnastics center, swim lessons, fitness facilities, grocery stores, Home Depot, and more.
- Northwest Boise was largely developed in the 80’s and 90’s, with parts developed much earlier so big trees and mature landscaping is the norm. Also, there are several more traditional subdivisions with well-kept streets, attached garages, and HOAs that keep things tidy. There are also several townhome developments that are very appealing to those seeking a turn-key, low maintenance lifestyle.
- From an affordability perspective, generally speaking, Northwest Boise is more affordable than The North End or Southeast Boise, more expensive than The Bench or West Boise. There are some great values in this area and buyers may feel that they get a little more “bang for their buck.”
- The biggest drawback to Northwest Boise is that it involves more driving and a slightly longer commute than north Boise. Residents rely heavily on State Street which can be congested during rush hour. Long-time residents get pretty good at knowing which side routes and back ways can make a specific commute shorter and easier.
Some of my favorite pockets in Northwest Boise (listed from east to west—from close-in to farther out)
The Sycamore District: The area between 36th and Collister north and south of Catalpa is quiet and very much has an historic “north end” feel. Catalpa, Whitehead, Sycamore, Hawthorne, Tamarack and 39th streets feature mostly large lots—up to an acre—some with stunning homes that have been remodeled and expanded in recent years. This area has a slightly rural, acreage-in-the-city feel. There are also some infill developments where larger lots have been developed into small subdivisions. The Garden Center and Bistro at 36th and Hill is a popular gathering place and the access to trails and golf just up 36th north of Hill is fantastic. My favorite home in all of Boise is on Catalpa in this neighborhood. Collister Elementary is a math/science magnet school.
Arrowhead Canyon and the surrounding area features homes built in the past 10 years including some new construction. Many of these homes offer views and some sections of the subdivision share a community pool. Pricing in Arrowhead Canyon tends to be quite a bit less than similar foothills neighborhoods in north Boise. Some people complain that it feels too “far out” since you do drive a bit to settle into the foothills north of Hill Road. What I’ve found is that the traffic flow out of Arrowhead onto 36th and then to the freeway is amazingly smooth. The commute from here is actually great and the clients I’ve had buy in this area absolutely love it.
Plantation: The area around Plantation golf course is lovely. With excellent river access and golf course view homes, the area has a lush, green, peaceful feeling. Homes are a bit older and many recent sales have been original owners selling homes that have not been updated since being built in the early 90’s. New owners are taking on a substantial amount of remodeling. The pay off, though, is a well-located home in a prime location.
Jordan’s Landing/John’s Landing/Castle Hills/Point Sub: Right around the intersection of Castle Drive and Hill Road near Cynthia Mann elementary are a half a dozen subdivisions developed in the 80’s and 90’s. This is a fantastic area with great foothills access, strong schools, mature trees and a nice neighborhood feel. You can find homes in a wide range of prices, sizes and styles. If I were going to set out on a home search for my own family, this would be an area I would consider for the walkability to area schools and the quiet, low-traffic subdivision lifestyle.
Riverside Village: With homes developed along the river and surrounding a series of neighborhood ponds, Riverside Village offers a lush setting surrounded by natural beauty. Homes offer many of the features and benefits of prime southeast Boise riverside neighborhoods. There is a gated section of Riverside Village with riverfront homes priced above one million dollars. This is a high end location yet pricing is much more affordable than comparable neighborhoods in southeast Boise.
Lakeland Village/Carlton Bay: Set between State Street and the River, the area around Lakeland Village and Carlton Bay (from Ulmer to highway 55) is one of the westernmost neighborhoods in Northwest Boise. This area offers lots of single level options and is popular with retirees who want easy access to highway 55 and McCall. Lakeland Village is beautiful and also offers some new, high-end townhomes as well as larger homes near the river.
Avimor: I have not been to Avimor. It feels really far away. I drive by it on my way to McCall and every time think, oh my goodness this is so far away. If new construction was a priority and a person had no commute and wanted to easily get into the mountains, this might be the perfect place to live. Is it in my wheelhouse? Nope. Could it be? Maybe. I wonder how long it takes for the Avimor listing agents to see this and can invite me out for a tour?
The area around Gary Lane & Hill: Many of the homes off Gary Lane are smaller and relatively affordable. I had clients buy here who are avid runners and they love how easy it is to get out for a long run either on roads in the area or down to the greenbelt or up to train running in the hills. This area is a bit further out but very quiet and just about every lot offers either a front or back yard peek at the foothills. You feel very much apart from the hustle and bustle in this area and there are some great buys to be had. Google will tell you this is Garden City but it’s not, it’s very much Boise. No one can tell me why Google thinks this is Garden City. Not that it matters as Garden City is a perfectly fine place to live if you are either in the Glenwood/River section or the Waterfront District. But that is a tangent.
All of the other neighborhoods in NW Boise: From the hillside homes above Hill Road to Quail Ridge to the area off of Pierce Park to the pockets between State and the river there are dozens of little areas that I have not written about here. If you have questions about a specific street or address or need help with any neighborhood information in Boise, feel free to email me directly. I geek out on this stuff and truly feel that with the variety of neighborhoods in our city, there is a place to call home for everyone.