Towering rock formations make up this vast historic reserve in southern Idaho.
In the mid-1800s, City of Rocks in Almo, Idaho began to boom in popularity from visitors who traveled from all over to experience for themselves the immense rock structures that surround the land in this region of southern Idaho. The reserve received its name from a traveler who said the area reminded him of a “silent city of rocks” when he laid his eyes upon it. Today, enthusiasts of rock climbing, geology, camping, and mountain biking all venture to the City of Rocks National Reserve to embrace all it has to offer.
Geology buffs will especially appreciate a visit here, as some of the granite peaks are over 600 feet tall and date back to roughly 2.5 billion years ago! The granite spires in the City of Rocks are also known as some of the best rock climbing that can be done in the United States. There are over 600 routes available to climbers in the reserve, varying from easy to advanced climbing.
If you would rather have an adventure on the stable ground, City of Rocks provides over 22 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to very difficult. The Geological Interpretive Trail is a doable 1.2-mile loop where you will get to see many of the various geological structures throughout the park. You can also set up camp at one of the 64 sites dispersed around the reserve, or take out your mountain bike in the basin onto one of the roads that only allows bikers and no cars or other motorized vehicles.
The weather in this area of Idaho can be rather unpredictable, but late spring or early summer tend to be favorite times of year to visit among climbers. If you enjoy skiing and snowshoeing, making a visit in the winter months would be a wonderful time to visit as well.