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Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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. 

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Spectacular views. Climbing access. Great camping spots. Hiking trails.

Cons

Little shade.

Features

Geologically significant
Flushing toilets
Rock climbing
Mountain biking
Bicycling
Potable water
Picnic tables
Horseback riding

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

11/07/2016
Found City of Rocks on the map and decided to stop in on our way back home. We weren't prepared for trad climbs, plenty of them here and a handful of sport routes. We were on a timeline, but glad we stopped in, camped at a free site just outside of here and climbed for a few hours the next day.
12/21/2015
Thought you might like these photos. I can never get enough of the City of Rocks. It's such and amazing place!
08/10/2015
Being in remote Southern Idaho, I had never heard of this place. I'm so glad I decided to camp here for the night. I had the best seat in the house to an amazing sunset, the Milky Way bright overhead and an serene sunrise. Friendly climbers filled the campsites, but I had the sunrise to myself.
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