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The sky over Treasure Valley slowly turned from blue and yellow to a deep red-orange as the sun dipped below the black outline of Boise’s skyline.

The valley’s southwestern horizon over the Owyhees, viewed from the top of Military Reserve, seemed to explode in an impressionistic painting.

Sunsets in winter over Treasure Valley are amazing and it’s easy to get a good look at them from the foothills above Boise, Eagle and Star.

The days are shorter so you can see them earlier in the evening. Gone is the haze of summer so the winter air is more crisp and clear. The sun’s angle is lower and seems to create more intense sunsets. Add storm clouds and the sky can be really intense.

If you want to get photos of sunsets, plan ahead. Scout trails to make sure they are not muddy. Do a test photo shoot at your favorite spot to see where the sun will go down and what you’ll have in the photo. Keep an eye on the weather. Clear evenings aren’t a guarantee so be ready to go at a moment’s notice. The photo I got from Military Reserve wasn’t planned in advance. I was just hanging out at home when I looked at the sky and saw the opportunity. I ended up heading to my spot 45 minutes before sunset, which at the time was at 5:10 p.m. Have a headlamp because you might be hiking back to the car in the dark.

By the way, why not make this your first hike of the New Year? Some of the places for viewing sunsets include the top of Military Reserve, which has an old paved road to avoid muddy trails; any of the streets going up into Foothills subdivisions; pullouts along Bogus Basin Road offer drive-up viewing; and Camel’s Back Hill. Camel’s Back has sandy soils that are recommended for hiking.

Keep an eye on the sky and capture that incredible photo of a Treasure Valley sunset.

Pete has been writing about the outdoors in Idaho and the Northwest for decades. Give him a shout at

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