City of Rocks National Preserve

Recently had the opportunity to visit the City of Rocks National Preserve, its a little off the beaten path in southern Idaho, but well worth the visit.

Have you ever been on a trip and you see those little brown signs that tell you a recreational property is at the next exit? Well, this is how I discovered this part, I was driving on the Interstate, saw the sign, and about a 40-minute detour later, I discovered it was definitely worth getting off the Interstate for!

Why is it called the city of rocks? Well the old California Trail passed through these mountains, and I read that the immigrants thought the area looked like a city but of rocks only, hence the name.

In fact, the immigrants carved their name in many of the rocks, Camprock which was a popular carving spot, has many names and dates in the late 1800s carved into it, some likely set with wagon wheel grease to help preserve the imprint.

The rocks really are unique and do look like crazy shaped buildings, I absolutely loved traveling the roads and trails within this area.

An old homestead also sits along the main road, I don't know any information on it, but it was a beautiful time I passed by it, just before sunset.

Lots of trails to hike here, you can camp and even hunt in this National Park area, you must follow the hunting rules and regulations. It's also a very popular rock climbing and bouldering area.

Animal watching, I wish I had some pictures of elk or others. But unfortunately all I was able to see was their droppings. but by as much as I saw I can tell you this area is full of wildlife for sure!

I came in early May, the elevation here was a little over 6,000 feet. So a little cool for camping, but many were doing it. I bet summer is fabulous here. However, the spring greens were stunning for sure!

There is a small town nearby, however, it is small. I would suggest bringing most of what you need with you. However, with the lack of towns around, and the wide open spaces and mountain surrounding it, plan on beautiful dark skies and lots and lots of stars! Perfect area if you want to do some peaceful star gazing!

There is actually no entrance fee to visit this area, and camping is just under $13 a night.

Sunsets are beautiful here, and it was quite picturesque with the snowcapped mountains behind all the rocks.

Have you visited City of Rocks before?

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