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City of Rocks National Reserve

Magic Valley + Shoshone Area, Idaho

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City of Rocks National Reserve

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  • The sun illuminates a morning camp at City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • The cave at camp 15 provides a sheltered picnic table area.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Morning stretches are better with a spectacular view.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Waking up in City of Rocks is a spectacular sight from any campsite.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • A visitor takes in a spectacular morning sun display as it's orange rays burst through the clouds.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Beautiful cloud formations on an early morning in the park.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Bath Rock sits high over the valley floor at the park.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • An early afternoon view into the valley at City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Sharp granite spires stand tall all across the valley.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Sage and low brush provide little shade but allow for spectacular viewpoints.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Even the vaulted toilet facilities are picturesque against the bouldery backdrop.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • A smaller rock formation catches early morning rays, heating the rock throughout the day.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Low brush clings to cracks in the rock.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Silhoutted figures pop up on the tops of monolithic formations around the valley.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • A kite enthusiast enjoys the winds at the reserve.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Campfires illuminate the adjacent boulders with a fiery glow at night.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • The formations provide a relaxing and calming view.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Small cities of campers are visible from high points in the park.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Unidentified cactus (help us identify it by providing feedback). - City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Climbers flock to the sheer rock opportunities.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Watching the sunset over City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Milky Way over City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • City of Rocks is a great place for stargazing if the sky is clear.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Beautiful sunrise!- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Sunrise over City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Campsite #43 has great views on the rocks behind.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Morning over City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
  • City of Rocks.- City of Rocks National Reserve
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Spectacular views. Climbing access. Great camping spots. Hiking trails.
Cons: 
Little shade.
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Region:
Magic Valley + Shoshone Area, ID
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

South of the Idaho Snake River at the Utah border is a seemingly magical collection of granite spires known as the City of Rocks. The area was designated a national historic landmark in 1964 because of it's history as a landmark for Shoshone Indian travelers along the California Trail. The high desert landscape is filled with sagebrush and dry grasses, yet the large granite formations harbor a diverse collection of wildlife that is unique to this site in southern Idaho. Visitors to the park will certainly find themselves in awe of the spectacular scenery all around and the miles of trails that await exploration. 

Climbers in southern Idaho have long sought the sheer rock faces of The City.  The granite rock provides a collection of climbing styles, from large jug holds to small 'crimpy' bits. The granular texture of the rock is sticky for those with appropriate climbing shoes, and you'll find climbs that cover a broad range of difficulty.  The most common climbing features are large boulders, which often don't require climbing ropes or protection.  There are, however, plenty of sport and traditional routes in the park, including some scenic multi-pitch options. 

Other visitors can enjoy more than 22 miles of hiking trails that weave through the granite formations. Many formations are mapped out and have distinct names based on their particular appearance. These distinct features help hikers navigate through the park. The trails are also shared by mountain bikers and horseback riders in the park. 

The park includes upwards of 60 camping spots, but the popularity of the park requires an early reservation to confirm your stay. Most of the camping locations are tucked in among the rocks, providing some highly desirable shade. Views are spectacular throughout the park from all campsites. 

 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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