"CIRO Scenic View of Elephant Rock" by Wallace Keck , public domain

City of Rocks

National Reserve - Idaho

The City of Rocks National Reserve, also known as the Silent City of Rocks, is a United States National Reserve and state park lying 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the south central Idaho border with Utah. It is widely known for its excellent rock climbing and rock formations. The rock spires in the City of Rocks and adjacent Castle Rocks State Park are largely composed of granitic rock of the Oligocene Almo pluton and Archean Green Creek Complex. California Trail wagon trains of the 1840s and 1850s left the Raft River valley and traveled through the area and over Granite Pass into Nevada. Names or initials of emigrants written in axle grease are still visible on Register Rock. Ruts from wagon wheels also can be seen in some of the rocks.

maps

Official visitor map of City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Eastern Part - Albion, Black Pine, Raft River & Sublett Divisions - of Minidoka Ranger District in Sawtooth National Forest (NF) in Idaho and Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).,Sawtooth MVUM - Minidoka East 2021

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Eastern Part - Albion, Black Pine, Raft River & Sublett Divisions - of Minidoka Ranger District in Sawtooth National Forest (NF) in Idaho and Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).,

Southern part of Winter Visitor Map of Sawtooth National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Sawtooth MVUM - South Winter Visitor Map 2018

Southern part of Winter Visitor Map of Sawtooth National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Over Snow Vehicle Use Map (OSVUM) of Westside in Caribou-Targhee National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Caribou-Targhee MVUM - Westside Winter 2016

Over Snow Vehicle Use Map (OSVUM) of Westside in Caribou-Targhee National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

brochures

Brochure and Map of City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Brochure and Map

Brochure and Map of City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure for the Automobile Tour at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Automobile Tour

Brochure for the Automobile Tour at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about the California National Historic Trail (NHT) at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - California NHT

Brochure about the California National Historic Trail (NHT) at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Camping Map for City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Camping

Camping Map for City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about the Climbing Experience Program at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Climbing

Brochure about the Climbing Experience Program at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about the Geological Interpretive Trail at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Geology Guide

Brochure about the Geological Interpretive Trail at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about Geologic and Historic Sites at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).City of Rocks - Geologic and Historic Sites

Brochure about Geologic and Historic Sites at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/ciro/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Rocks_National_Reserve The City of Rocks National Reserve, also known as the Silent City of Rocks, is a United States National Reserve and state park lying 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the south central Idaho border with Utah. It is widely known for its excellent rock climbing and rock formations. The rock spires in the City of Rocks and adjacent Castle Rocks State Park are largely composed of granitic rock of the Oligocene Almo pluton and Archean Green Creek Complex. California Trail wagon trains of the 1840s and 1850s left the Raft River valley and traveled through the area and over Granite Pass into Nevada. Names or initials of emigrants written in axle grease are still visible on Register Rock. Ruts from wagon wheels also can be seen in some of the rocks. Emigrants of the California Trail describe the rocks here in vivid detail as "a city of tall spires,” “steeple rocks," and "the silent city." Today, this backcountry byway attracts rock climbers, campers, hikers, hunters, and those with the spirit of adventure. There's inspirational scenery, exceptional opportunities for geologic study, and remnants of the Old West awaiting your discovery. From Boise: take I-84 East to exit 216 (Declo); go south on Highway 77 to Conner Creek Junction; turn right (west) on Highway 77 Spur to Almo. The visitor center and the park entrance are south of the post office and businesses. From Pocatello: take I-86 West to I-84 West to exit 216 and proceed as above. From Salt Lake City: take I-84 west to exit 245 (Sublette), turn left and go west to Malta. From Malta take Highway 77. Take Highway 77 Spur to Almo. City of Rocks Visitor Center The Visitor Center for City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park is located just outside the National Reserve in the community of Almo. Stop in to chat with a Ranger or pick up maps, guide booklets, and other informative resources. We also offer souvenirs such as books, mugs, apparel, postcards, and stickers. The Visitor Center is located 2 miles east of the Reserve in the small community of Almo. The visitor center is directly south of the post office and most businesses. City of Rocks Campground Camping in City of Rocks is a great way to enjoy being out in nature. Relax beneath the cool shade of aspen, juniper, mountain mahogany, or pine. Spend the night surrounded by impressive granite formations and starry skies. There are 64 standard campsites and 3 group sites to choose from with easy access to climbing, hiking trails, and vistas. Campsite Fee 14.00 8 people, 2 tents, and 2 vehicles per site. All equipment must fit within the designated camping area. All campsites have a fire-ring/ground grill and a picnic table. Reservation fee is $10. This fee does not apply for walk-ins paying by envelope or in person at the Visitor Center. Group Campsite Fee 36.00 $3 per person, 12 person minimum ($36 minimum) $10 reservation fee. The reservation fee does not apply for walk-ins paying by envelope or in person at the Visitor Center. Camping Under the Milky Way An orange tent glows in early pre-dawn beneath the milky way in a star filled sky. The dark skies in City of Rocks provide excellent conditions for star gazing. City of Rocks Camping 01 A blue tent is nestled in shade of mountain mahogany Camping among the rocks is popular City of Rocks Camping 02 A camp trailer is parked with granite rocks behind Some campsites are suitable for small RV campers City of Rocks Camping 03 Numerous tents are set up below granite rocks City of Rocks offers group camping areas Smoky Mountain Campground There are 38 campsites available, 9 of which are pull-through. Sites 11 and 24 are designated ADA accessible. A separate loop with 6 sites accommodates equestrian campers. - water service May-September - 30 amp electrical hook-ups - fire-ring/ground grill - picnic table - partial shade There are flush toilets and showers open May-September and a vault toilet open year-round at the equestrian trail head. An RV dump station is provided near the campground entrance. Idaho Resident Campsite Fee 28.00 An additional $10 fee is applied for advanced reservations. This fee does not apply to walk-ins. Water typically available May1st through September 30th depending on weather. Each vehicle must pay an entrance fee of $7 or have an Annual Pass or Passport. Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee 7.00 All vehicles are required to pay a motor vehicle entrance fee or have an Annual Pass or Passport. Campsite Reservation Fee 10.00 This fee is required to make campsite reservations in advance and does not apply to walk-ins. Shower Fee 3.00 fee is per shower Non-Idaho Resident Campsite Fee 31.00 An additional $10 fee is applied for advanced reservations. This fee does not apply to walk-ins. Water typically available May1st through September 30th depending on weather. Each vehicle must pay an entrance fee of $7 or have an Annual Pass or Passport. Smoky Mountain Campsite A family is gathered around a blazing campfire in the evening. Smoky Mountain Campsite Orange tents, fire ring, and picnic table, in a campsite at Smoky Mountain Campground. Smoky Mountain Campsite A truck with an Airstream trailer on a paved pad with mountains in the background. City of Rocks in October Silhouette of a bird sitting on skeletal bare branches with a brilliant orange sky. City of Rocks offers sweeping vistas and awe-inspiring scenery. Indian Grove Overlook Grand scenic view looking down from a high elevation. Granite spires jut up from the landscape. The majority of outcrops in City of Rocks and all of the pinnacles are either Almo Pluton or Green Creek Complex granite. Twin Sisters Two granite pinnacles right next to each other that are similar in size and shape. Twin Sisters may be similar in size and shape, but one is 2.5 billion years old, the younger sister is only 28 million years old. Window Arch at City of Rocks A granite arch is displayed on the horizon Forces of nature sculpt unexpected features in granite such as Window Arch Replica Emigrant Wagons at City of Rocks Replica emigrant wagons rest unhitched at sunrise Nearly 250,000 California-bound emigrants traveled through City of Rocks (1843-1882) Emigrant Signatures at City of Rocks Emigrant signature written with axle-grease on granite California-bound emigrants painted their signature on Register Rock in 1850 Climber on Morning Glory Spire A climber ascends a granite spire with mountains in the distance. Over half of the 100,000 annual visitors to City of Rocks come to experience climbing Window Arch Granite arch with sunset peeking through. Window Arch is one of many impressive rock features found in City of Rocks. Stormy Spring Weather Dark storm clouds loom over a sunny green hill covered in granite formations. Spring is a beautiful time to visit City of Rocks. Silent City of Rocks Snowy granite pinnacles. Winter is a great time to experience quiet and solitude in City of Rocks. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—City Of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] large granite outcrops Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Wildland Fire in Sagebrush Sagebrush will burn when the surrounding grasses are dry. With strong winds, fire spreads rapidly with flames sometimes reaching over 30 feet high. While fire easily kills sagebrush, the other plants resprout from protected roots producing lush forage for wildlife and livestock. Close-up of sagebrush leaves Explore Your Southern Idaho National Parks Discover southern Idaho's hidden treasures, including Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, City of Rocks National Reserve, Minidoka National Historic Site, and Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. A group of people joyfully cut the ceremonial ribbon outside the new Minidoka visitor center. Visiting City of Rocks National Reserve With its unique granite formations and stunning scenery, City of Rocks National Reserve in southern Idaho offers a multitude of opportunities for hiking, camping, climbing, and more. Cool Geology Hike in Castle Rocks Join Ranger Tara as she takes you to see some awesome geologic features in Castle Rocks. Panhole in granite feature at Three Pools Boulder. Two Different Types of Granite Learn about the two different types of granite in City of Rocks. Dark gray granite with large white crystals. City of Rocks Junior Ranger Online Learn about City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. Field of wildflowers in front of Castle Rocks State Park in Almo, ID. Searching for a Rare Wildflower Follow along as the Park Superintendent looks for the rare Steer's head Wildflower. Two Steer's head Wildflowers Geology Word Search Junior Ranger Geology Word Search Activity Geology Word Search The Parts of a Flower Ranger Kate dissects a daffodil and explains the different parts of the flower. A yellow daffodil flower. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Paleogene Period—66.0 to 23.0 MYA Colorful Paleogene rocks are exposed in the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park and the badlands of Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks. Extraordinary Paleogene fossils are found in Fossil Butte and John Day Fossil Beds national monuments, among other parks. fossil skull with teeth expsoed Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Scientist Profile: Tom Rodhouse, Ecologist and Project Manager Meet Tom Rodhouse, ecologist for the Upper Columbia Basin Network. Tom studies the plants and animals of our National Parks, and believes we have an important role to play in protecting these special places. Read about his adventures as a field wildlife biologist, and how he got to be where he is today. Biologist smiles by sweeping view of green fields, conifer treetops, and snow-capped mountains. City of Rocks - TOP 10 TIPS Get the most from your City of Rocks visit by using our Top 10 Tips! Granite spires in a dramatic mountainous landscape.
City of Rocks City of Rocks National Reserve Idaho Sculpted granite rocks invite exploration. Hikers explore Elephant Rock. Autumn aspen leaves provide striking color in the heart of the “City.” © dave bower NPs © Antonio Plascencia Emigrants left record of their passing in axle grease. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Window Arch illustrates the creative weathering of granite. © dave bower NPS Trails and Travelers Wagon routes were rarely used after completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. Regional supply and stagecoach routes connected communities with depots. The City of Rocks stage station provided refreshment and lodging. Homesteaders moved here in the 1870s to graze cattle and dryland farm. This same ranching lifestyle continues today. As part of the largest overland emigrant route in American history, the Reserve preserves the most intact and authentic setting of the California Trail. City of Rocks is a landmark and refuge that inspires all who visit. Emigrant journals describe this sculpted granite city as displaying steeples, cathedrals, pyramids, windows, and bathtubs. Some described the rocks and processes that may have formed them. Even today, the complex geology attracts professors and students alike. The 14,407-acre Reserve exhibits what some scientists call a biogeographic crossroads, where many plants and animals are on the edge of their habitat range. Some plants and animals of the Great Basin, rarely occur farther north of here, like pinyon pine, pinyon jay, and ringtail. Colorado columbine, common in the Rocky Mountains, occur no farther west. Longhorn plectritis, slim larkspur, and western columbine occur here, but rarely east. These overlapping ecological areas provide scientists and students an opportunity to observe the ebb and flow of living communities, which can be early warning signs or predictors of ecological change. City of Rocks is located in the Basin and Range physiographic province. The granite pluton of the ancient Green Creek Complex and the significantly younger Almo Pluton are best exposed here in the southern Albion Mountains. While only the tips of the plutons are visible, these ancient granites are like an open window into the earth’s crust. Arrowleaf balsamroot is one of the more common and showy flowers of the sagebrush steppe. Once exposed, granite is subjected to weathering by wind, freezing and thawing water, salt, and other naturally corrosive chemicals. These forces work to create pinnacles, panholes, honeycombs, windows, and arches. Self-discovery of these unusual granite sculptures awaits the modern-day explorer along nearly every trail. Over 750 species of plants and animals have been documented within the Reserve. A few species of special interest include cliff chipmunk, Virginia warbler, Simpson’s hedgehog cactus, and pinyon pine. GRE © Mary Sanseverino Rough-legged hawk NPS IDA HO SN AKE ER RIV A PL IN A I N S U N T M O Over 200,000 emigrants followed the California Trail through City of Rocks, a name coined by James F. Wilkins, emigrant and artist, in August 1849. Weary by the time they arrived, many found delight and inspiration at this geologic marvel. In 1857 Helen Carpenter wrote . . . women ad children wadered off to enjoy the sights of the city. We were . . . spellbound with the beauty and strangeness of it all. . . . Here they rested, grazed stock, and left their names and messages on the rocks. Many were forced to lighten loads, leaving behind precious items before embarking on the most dangerous part of their trek—Granite Pass, Forty Mile Desert, and the Sierra Nevada. Ecological Crossroads Y C K R O Between 1843 and 1882 a mass migration of people headed west. They first sought land, but in 1848 the discovery of gold in California enticed thousands to hit the trail seeking their fortune. Travelers packed tools, food, books, clothes, furniture, and family heirlooms—everything needed to build a new life in a land of promise. The first emigrants followed the landmarks described by fur trappers and early explorers. Others soon followed wagon ruts and published descriptions. They braved weather, hunger, thirst, disease, accidents, and attacks. Many buried loved ones along the way. The obstacles were enormous, but so was the desire for a better life. Nature’s Sculptures City of Rocks NEV ADA GREA T S A LT LAKE UTA H AT B ASIN Circle Creek Basin at sunrise. © dwight parish Slim larkspur © Aaron Arthur Pinyon jay © Stephen Parsons Gray flycatcher © Larry Selman Cliff chipmunk Green-tailed towhee Longhorn plectritis Great basin sagebrush Western columbine Juniper titmouse © tony godfrey © Larry Selman © Paul Slichter NPS nps © alison sheehey We encamped at the City of the Rocks, a noted place from the granite rocks rising abruptly out of the ground. They are in a romantic valley clustered together, which gives them the appeara
Automobile Tour The tour starts at the Visitor Center, located in Almo, Idaho. It is approximately 24 miles long and you should allow about 1.5 - 2.5 hours. Travel is on gravel roads that vary in condition from place to place and throughout the year. You can check on the latest road and weather conditions at the Visitor Center. We recommend that you set your trip odometer to zero at the start of the tour at the Visitor Center's parking lot. _______________________________________________________________________ Mile 0.0-Visitor's Center Parking Lot (Elevation 5,400 ft) There are two wayside exhibits at the east edge of the Visitor Center parking lot. These waysides provide information about the emigrants traveling across the Almo Valley. California and Oregon bound emigrants shared the Oregon Trail until they reached the "parting of the ways" just after crossing the Raft River. The Oregon bound emigrants stayed along a more northerly route and the emigrants that chose Califorina as their destination headed soughtwest along the Raft River. When the emigrants reached Cassia Creek and the north end of the Jim Sage Mountains they stayed on the west side of the mountains and headed through the Elba valley and then the Almo valley. The trail roughly follows the course of the State Route 77 Spur of the City of Rocks Scenic Byway. In addition to the main stem of the California Trail, the route of the Salt Lake Alternate is visible in the distance. The route of the Salt Lake Alternate comes through the "narrows", a gap in the mountains to the east and meets up with the California Trail at the southern end of the Reserve. The dust clouds from the wagons on the California Trail were visible to emigrants on the Salt Lake Alternae and vice versa. There are two replica wagons near the waysides on display each year from April - November, depending on weather conditions. Please do not climb on the wagons. To continue the tour, turn left (south) from the Visitor Center parking lot. Mile 0.4 - Intersection The City of Rocks Scenic Byway continues to the right on City of Rocks Road. There is a California Trail marker at the intersection - Marker C-7 "We enter a gorge of the hills which in a short time brings into a large ampitheatre surrounded with rock of every kind of fanciful character." - Joseph Middleton, Aug 26, 1849. Mile 2.4 - Almo Entrance The City of Rocks is part of the National Park System. Congress established the reserve in 1988 as one of the nation's four national reserves. By its establishment, Congress recognized the character of this place; it's history, scenery, and natural wonders that had been forgotten. Congress mandated cooperative protection, preservation, and management of this special place. The reserve is made up of land owned by the federal government, state government, and private individuals, and is made up of 14,407 acres. The reserve contains some 450 plant species, 115 bird species, 14 reptile species, and 55 mammal species. The largest pinyon pine forest in Idaho is located within the reserve. Mile 2.6 Circle - Creek Overlook Road This one lane road to the right winds through pinyon pines to a viewpoint which overlooks the raft River Valley. Several mountain ranges including the Bear River Range of the Wasatch Front (120 miles) are visible on a clear day. This parking area has a bathroom and serves as the trailhead for the Geological Interpretive Trail (1.2 miles round trip). A booklet explaining the features on the Geological Interpretive Trail is available at the Visitor Center. The Circle Creek basin was an overnight camp site for the emigrants on the California Trail. Mile 3.1 - Circle Creek Ranch In 1882, Iowa farmer George W. Lunsford withdrew 160 acres under the 1862 Homestead Act, receiving a patent to his land in 1888. Lunsford sold his land to William Tracy in 1901. This parcel, plus 160 adjacent acres, patented by Mary Ann Tracy, under the Desert Land Act, formed the nucleus of the Circle Creek Ranch. The Tracy's spent years constructing a substantial stone house to replace their log dwelling. The stone used in the construction of the home is from a quarry located about one mile southwest of the home site. The home burned in 1957. The California Trail crossed the road at this point. Mile 3.4 -Circle Creek Basin It was approximately at this point that the emigrants had their first glimpse of City of Rocks. The main part of the City is made up of a dome of granitic rock known as the Almo Pluton. This granitic rock is light in color and is represented by the rocks that you see in the valley ahead. Approximately 28 million years ago, this younger granite intruded into the much older Green Creek Complex (2 - 3 billion years old). The Green Creek Complex makes up the brownish formations that you see. This older rock is of Precambrian origin, and contains some of the oldest exposed rock on the North American Continent. In the high areas surrounding the City, you can also see
California National Historic Trail City of Rocks National Reserve A self-guided journey to discovering the California National Historic Trail at City of Rocks City of Rocks National Reserve is a partnership between the National Park Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation California National Historic Trail City of Rocks National Reserve A self-guided journey to discovering A self-guided journey to discovering the California National Historic Trail at City of Rocks Prepared by Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service City of Rocks National Reserve PO Box 169 Almo, Idaho 83312 http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov www.nps.gov/ciro 2015 Contents What’s in store before you explore? There are eight stops, six of which have interpretive signage, along the 10 mile auto route. Introduction Map—Overview Parting of the Ways to the Elba Basin The Almo Valley Twin Sisters in the Distance The Salt Lake Alternate Replica Wagons Wagon Trains Camp Guide Books Trails West Markers Entrance to City of Rocks Trail Ruts First View of Circle Creek Basin Tracy Homestead Camp Rock Treasure Rock Map— Locations of the Waysides and Markers Artists on the Trail Register Rock Pinnacle Pass Ledyard and Margaret Ann Alsip Frink Twin Sisters Salt Lake Alternate-Boise Kelton Stage Route Post Office Granite Pass The Mormon Battalion Life on the Trail Emigrant and Native American Interactions Trouble on the Trail Emigrant Names For Further Study / Credits Bibliography 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 12 13 14 15 16 17 20 21 23 24 27 29 30 32 33 34 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 Introduction City of Rocks National Reserve (Reserve) was established by Congress on November 18, 1988 in order to preserve and protect the significant historical and cultural resources; to manage recreational use; to protect and maintain scenic quality; and to interpret the nationally significant values of the Reserve. The primary significance of the Reserve is the California National Historic Trail and its associated features. These features include the wagon ruts and granite monoliths with signatures as well as the open landscape. This booklet provides information about the California National Historic Trail from Connor Junction at the north end of the Jim Sage Mountains where the California Trail enters the Elba Basin and follows the trail south through the Almo Valley and present day Almo before turning west through the City of Rocks and then continuing west over Granite Pass. Over 240,000 people traveled the California Trail between 18431882 with the heaviest traffic occurring in the years between 1849, the beginning of the Gold Rush and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869. After the railroad was completed, traffic on the overland trails diminished. Much of what we know about the journey along the California Trail comes from diaries and journals the emigrants wrote. Journal and diary entries have been included in this booklet to tell the stories of the people, brave and determined, who passed through City of Rocks on the overland road to California. “This journey is only for those who have health and spirit to enjoy and to endure; to those who are unfortunate, it is a chapter of woe.” Elizabeth Cornelia Woodcock Ferris, 1856 3 Map—Overview Why does the Trail go where it goes? This map shows the topography of the area and how it dictated the paths of the trails. Emigrants wanted to take the shortest and most level route with good water and grass for themselves and their stock. At the top right, the trail goes between the Cottrell and Jim Sage mountains. The trail passes through the east side of the Elba Basin, over the Elba-Almo Divide and through the Almo Valley turning west into the City of Rocks through gaps in the east ridge. The outlet at the south end of the City of Rocks is a gap in the south ridge. Granite Pass is a low point in a high mountain range which extends for miles in either direction. Overland Trails City of Rocks National Reserve Castle Rocks State Park ¯ 0 1 2 4 Miles 4 The Parting of the Ways to the Elba Basin The “parting of the ways” refers to the place where the California Trail separates from the Oregon Trail. Just west of where the Oregon Trail crosses the Raft River is where emigrants had to make the decision about their destination. “July 15 … came to Raft River, a small stream that flowed from the mountains on our left. Here the roads fork again, the righthand one turning off northwesterly towards Oregon, while we took the left-hand one, going southwesterly towards California, leaving Snake River, and traveling up Raft River.” Margaret A. Frink, 1850 Emigrants heading to California turned south and followed the Raft River, with the Cotterel Mountains on their right. McClendon Springs, at the base of the Cotterel Mountains, just southwest of present day Malta was a resting stop on the trail. “July 6, ...found a splendid spring that burst out from the base of t
City of Rocks National Reserve • • National Park Service National Park Service Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation U.S. Department of the Interior Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Campground To Oakley 1 Bread Loaves Group Camp 2 1 Window Rock Parking Lot Rock 4 3 1 Mile Finger Rock 2 45 44 Flaming Rock Window Arch Bath Rock N W To Visitor Center and Almo E Elephant Rock To Bread Loaves S To Twin Sisters To Oakley 3 4 Juniper Group camp To Oakley Check-in 2:00 p.m. 1 Check-out 1:00 p.m Twin Sisters Group Camp CAMPSITES GROUP SITES CAMPSITES 1 walk-in 320’/rock/tent pad/ D 33 main road/rock/ F 2 walk-in 135’/rock/tent pad/ C 34 rock/ D 3 rock/tent pad/ C 35 rock/ C 4 rock/tent pad/ F 36 walk-in 93′/rock/ C 5 main road/rock/ RV <18'/ D 37 Window Arch Rock/tent pad/ B 6 rock/ tent pad/ D 38 rock/tent pad/ D 8 people - 2 tents - 2 vehicles/campsite Juniper 12-25 people/night Twin Sisters 12-35 people/night Campsite Fee ………………………… $12.72 Reservation Fee ……………………… $10.60 Bread Loaves 12-25 people/night 6% State sales tax included in fees above RESTROOMS (located near campsite or parking lot) 7 rock/tent pad/RV 25’/ F 39 parking lot/tent pad/RV 40'/D - Camp Host 8 Boxtop Trailhead/walk-in 184′/tent pad/ F 40 walk-in 104′/ D 9 Boxtop Trailhead/walk-in 120′/tent pad/ F 41 walk-in 177′/ D Site 12 10 Boxtop Trailhead/walk-in 243′/tent pad/ A 42 walk-in 220′/ C Site 27 11 Practice Rock/tent pads/ C 43 walk-in 273′/ B Bath Rock parking lot 12 rock/RV 25’/ C 44 walk-in 81′/rock/ C Parking Lot Rock 13 loop road/tent pad/ F 45 walk-in 131′/secluded/ B Bread Loaves 14 rock/tent pad/ F 46 main road/tent pad/ B Site 62 – Logger Springs Rd. 15 Cave Rock/tent pad/ C 47 rock/tent pad/ C 16 walk-in 220′/rock/ A 48 walk-in 115′/grass/large tent pad/ F 17 walk-in 100′/rock/ D 49 walk-in 147′/large tent pad/ C 18 Turtle Rock/walk-in 213′/secluded/ C 50 main road/ C 19 rock/ C 51 main road/ C A Best 20 RV 25’/ D 52 walk-in 200′/grass meadow/secluded/ F B 21 rock/ C 53 road/ B C Occasional 22 Look Out Rock/tent pad/RV 20′/ F 54 King On the Throne/walk-in 81′/ B D Very little 23 walk-in 218′/secluded/rock/ D 55 walk-in 144′/secluded/ B F 24 walk-in 98′/ D 56 walk-in 97′/rock/secluded/ C 25 rock/ C 57 main road/ F 26 rock/ D 28 rock/ C 58 walk-in 545′/rock/secluded/ B 59 walk-in 665′/rock/secluded/ D 60 walk-in 102′/rock/secluded/ C 29 rock/ A 61 road/rock/ D 30 near rock/ D 62 road/rock/ D 31 walk-in 219′/rock/ F 32 Flaming Rock trailhead/walk-in 80′/ B 63 road/view/ F 27 tent pad/ C 64 secluded – near Aspen Grove/ D Single Site Fee Schedule Circle Creek Overlook Juniper Group Site Twin Sisters Group Site SHADE LEGEND Good Group Site Fee Schedule (12 people/night minimum) Reservation Fee ………….………….. $26.50 Per Person Overnight Fee …………...…$3.18 6% State sales tax included in fees above Reservations can be made by calling the toll free number 888-922-6743. Online reservations can be made at www.reserveamerica.com or www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov No reservations from October 1st through April 30th. Walk-in only. RULES • Pay fees at Bath Rock • Walk-in campers pay for 1 night only • Length of stay is limited to 14 days in any 30-day period • Pets on leash at all times • Gathering of firewood is prohibited • Use established campsites and fire rings only • Quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. • Maximum of 8 people, 2 vehicles, and 2 tents per individual campsite No shade ADJACENT (3-4) (8-9-10) (14-15) (16-17) (25-26-27) (23-24 ) (28-29-30) (33-35) (37-38) (35-36) (41-42-43) (46-47) (48-49) (50-51) (52-53) (54-55) (61-62-63) WALK-INS 1-2, 8-10, 16-18, 23-24, 31-32, 36, 40-45, 48-49, 52-56, 58-60 EQUESTRIAN CAMPING City of Rocks National Reserve offers the Juniper Group Site for equestrian campers. This area is remote and primitive. This area features a corral, standard campsite amenities, and a vault toilet. Smoky Mountain Campground near the east entrance to the reserve offers six sites with water and electricity, paved camping spurs, corral and showers. Revised 08-28-12
City of Rocks National Reserve Castle Rocks State Park National Park Service Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Climbing Experience Program The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation now offers visitors the opportunity to experience climbing on world-class granite. What is the Climbing Experience Program? The Climbing Experience Program is a chance for beginners to try out rock climbing in a safe setting on some of the best granite in the country. Trained employees set up easy routes for the novice climber to get a feel for the rock. Visitors will be able to try their hand on a variety of routes and difficulties. Participants will be exposed to concepts, techniques, and equipment that becomes an excellent introduction to the sport of climbing. Why Climb? Come climbing to explore the scenic beauty of City of Rocks and gain new personal insights. Rock climbing is a great way to be challenged physically and mentally. City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park are among the premier rock climbing destinations in the U.S. Recent surveys show that over 50% of all visitors to City of Rocks listed rock climbing as their primary activity. Climbers began establishing routes here in the 1960’s. Since then, climbers have been enjoying these granite domes and spires, with over 750 routes ranging from easy walk-ups to some of the most difficult in the world. A growing number of visitors are coming to City of Rocks and Castle Rocks to discover rock climbing for the first time. Inquires and requests for an introduction to the climbing experience have grown in recent years. Come discover what draws thousands of climbers to the “City” every year. Making a Reservation To reserve your opportunity to climb, Call: 208-824-5901 Email: cit@idpr.state.id.us More Information City of Rocks National Reserve PO Box 169 Almo, ID 83312 208-824-5901 What we provide: What you bring: • helmet • closed toe shoes • harness • shorts to the knee or long pants • climbing shoes • water • climbing gear • sunscreen • rope • camera • a grand experience • safe attitude • professionally trained employees • willingness to be challenged Participating visitors will be required to sign a waiver/release form. If participant is under 18, the waiver must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Youths age 10 - 17 must be accompanied by an adult. A youth group is four or more participants, and must include 1 adult supervisor per four youth. Maximum participants is 8 youths and two adult supervisors. Safety rules: • Participating visitors may not bring pets to the site • Participants or non-participating members of the party may not climb or scramble on rocks unless directly being supervised by the employee. • Participants who fail to wear proper safety gear, or otherwise behave in an unsafe manner will not be permitted on the ropes. • For safety participants should listen and follow instructions of the employee to the best of their ability. • Participants not currently climbing or non-participating members of the party should observe or visit quietly, but not offer guidance or distract the employee while the employee is assisting an active participant. 1 Adult $ 37.50 2 hours total time 2 Adults $ 75.00 2-3 hours total time 3 Adults $100.00 3 hours total time 4 Adults $120.00 3 hours total time 1 Youth $ 20.00 1 hour (2 or more youths 2-3 hours total time) Youth Group (4) $ 80.00 3 hours, (over 4 youths add $10.00 per additional youth up to a maximum of 6 youths). Groups with 8 youths will be scheduled split sessions. Where do I go from here? So you’ve got a taste for climbing and you want to try some more. Authorized professional guides in City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park: • Sawtooth Mountain Guides - sawtoothguides.com, 208-774-3324 • Jackson Hole Mountain Guides - jhmg.com, 307-733-4979 • Exum Mountain Guides - exumguides.com, 307-733-2297 Get started on your own: Some equipment to consider as a starter package for the beginner climber. Always purchase climbing equipment from a reputable manufacturer. • • • Harness Shoes Belay device • • • Helmet Locking carabiner Climbers book on knots Go climbing with others who have experience before trying it on your own. Remember: Safety is the climbers first responsibility to themselves and their partner. For more park information visit: nps.gov/ciro parksandrecreation.idaho.gov Revision 11-07-11
Geological Interpretive Trail City of Rocks National Reserve A self‐guided journey to discovering secrets in the rocks at City of Rocks City of Rocks National Reserve is a partnership between the National Park Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Geological Interpretive Trail City of Rocks National Reserve A self‐guided journey to discovering A self‐guided journey to discovering the secrets in the rocks of City of Rocks Prepared by Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service City of Rocks National Reserve PO Box 169 Almo, Idaho 83312 http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov www.nps.gov/ciro January 2012 Contents What’s in store before you explore? There are twelve interpretive stations along the 0.6 mile trail. The trail rises 160 feet in elevation, makes a loop at the end, and retraces much of the same route for a total of 1.2 miles. Trail Map Introduction Green Creek Complex Almo Pluton Where Granites Meet Geologic Map of Trail Vicinity Overlook: Anticlines, Hogbacks, Upland Basins Physiography of City of Rocks and Castle Rocks Stop 1 Granitic Weathering Stop 2 Panholes Stop 3 Tafoni Stop 4 Joints Geologic Map of City of Rocks Stop 5 Panholes Stop 6 Intrusive Contact Stop 7 Xenolith/Contact Stop 8 Green Creek Window Stop 9 Boulders Stop 10 Joints Stop 11 Pickelhaube Stop 12 Pinnacles Other Points of Geologic Interest Glossary (words underlined) For Further Study Credits Quiz 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 29 30 3 Introduction City of Rocks National Reserve is part of the Basin and Range geologic province. Basin and Range topography results from crustal extension. As the crust is stretched (pulled apart), high angle faults develop. Along these faults, mountains uplift and valleys drop, creating the distinctive mountain ranges and wide valleys of the Basin and Range province. As rocky ranges rise, the newly exposed rock is immediately subjected to weathering and erosion. This rock is attacked by water, ice, wind, and other erosive agents, that have produced many of the geologic features visible today. The majority of outcrops at City of Rocks, and all of the pinnacles, consist of intrusive igneous rock with a granitic composition. Geologists have mapped the two different types of granitic rock within the Reserve as the Green Creek Complex and the Almo pluton. Circle Creek Basin 4 Green Creek Complex The Green Creek Complex is an assemblage of metamorphic rocks consisting of granite, granitic gneiss (metamorphosed granite), schist and a few other rock types. Radiometric analysis indicates that the Green Creek granite may be as old as 2.5 billion years (Archean) and is considered to be some of the oldest rock exposed on the continent west of the Mississippi River. This granite has a porphyritic texture, meaning it is composed of crystals of two distinct sizes. The larger crystals are potassium feldspar. They are embedded in a matrix of smaller crystals consisting of quartz, biotite, and plagioclase feldspar. Feldspars are the most common family of silicate minerals. They are broadly divided into two groups: sodium and calcium‐bearing feldspars, called plagioclase, and potassium‐bearing feldspars, called orthoclase, microcline or sanidine, depending on their crystallographic structure. Green Creek Complex Granite Potassium Feldspar Approximately 1 inch 5 Almo Pluton Most of the pinnacles at City of Rocks and Castle Rocks are made of granite from the Almo pluton. The pluton started out as an intrusive body of magma and has a convoluted contact with the Green Creek Complex. It is the youngest rock at City of Rocks and formed about 28 million years ago. Unlike the granite of the Green Creek Complex, the Almo pluton has an equigranular texture. Notice in the photograph below the small uniform size of the crystals in the Almo pluton in contrast to the variety of sizes in the Green Creek Complex (previous page). Both types of granite are cut in many places by dikes of pegmatite, a very coarse‐grained granitic rock that usually forms during the last stages of crystallization of a large granitic pluton. The pegmatites at City of Rocks contain large quartz and feldspar crystals about the size of a fist. Almo Pluton 6 Where Granites Meet The granites of the Green Creek Complex and the Almo pluton look similar from a distance; however, the Green Creek granite can easily be distinguished by the large crystals of potassium feldspar and its darker (reddish‐brown) color and ragged appearance. The Almo pluton in most places appears smooth and gray. The Green Creek granite has a higher concentration of iron‐bearing minerals. Oxidation of the iron stains the rock rusty brown. At stations 6 and 7 the granites can be compared where they are in contact. One of the most dramatic comparisons of these two granites is the Twin Sisters. This feature was the iconic landmark for California‐bound emigrants from 1843 to 1882. Twins in si
Geologic and Historic Sites City of Rocks National Reserve A self‐guided journey to discovering geologic wonders and historical sites in City of Rocks Finger Rock City of Rocks Na onal Reserve is a partnership between the Na onal Park Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recrea on Geologic and Historic Sites City of Rocks Na onal Reserve A self‐guided journey to discovering A self‐guided journey to discovering geologic wonders and historical sites in City of Rocks Prepared by Idaho Department of Parks and Recrea on and the Na onal Park Service City of Rocks Na onal Reserve PO Box 169 Almo, Idaho 83312 h p://parksandrecrea on.idaho.gov www.nps.gov/ciro November 2014 2 Contents As you drive the City of Rocks road you will be able to see all of the rocks that are featured in this guide. You may see animals, faces, or buildings; only your imagina on limits what you see. 5 Steinfells Dome & Jacksons Thumb Stripe Rock Lost Arrow Spire Box Top Clam Shell 6 7 8 9 10 Circle Creek Overlook Tracy Homestead Camp Rock Chicken Rock Monkey‐Face Rock Slipper Rock Kaisers Helmet Treasure Rock Circle Creek Basin Devils Bedstead Overview Map 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20‐21 Stone Ruin to “T” in Road Register Rock Elephant Rock Window Arch Historic Corral Bath Rock Creekside Towers Morning Glory Spire Anteater Window Rock Parking Lot Rock King on the Throne Owl Rock Eric Wood Bread Loaves 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 3 38 39 South Twin Sisters Pinnacle Pass Other Points of Interest Further Adventures and Credits 4 City ofMain Rocks—Main Road Introduc on Overview Map Introduc on City of Rocks Na onal Reserve has long been an oddity and wonder, especially for passing emigrants on the California Trail (1843‐1882). Many of these emigrants wrote entries in their journals naming the rock features as they traveled through the valley. “…Pyramid Circle and the hills which encircle it, were the most beau ful and wonderful white rocks that we ever saw. This is known as the City of Rocks…” –Helen Carpenter 1857 Many of the granite forma ons were named by emigrants on the trail, local residents, and rock climbers. Can you see what they saw? Use your imagina on; you might come up with a be er name for the rocks. 4 City of Rocks Na onal Reserve Public Roads Overview Castle Rocks Finger Rock Visitor Center Bath Rock Twin Sisters 5 Steinfells Dome and Jacksons Thumb Steinfells Dome and Jacksons Thumb are favorite mul ‐pitch climbs. The dome is named a er the legendary Steinfell Climbing Club of Utah; many routes were climbed during the late 1960’s. Jacksons Thumb is named a er the late Ned Jackson, Superintendent from 1990 to 2001. 6 Stripe Rock Stripe Rock has become a popular three‐pitch climbing des na on since the popular route “Cruel Shoes” was established by Kevin Pogue. The stripe running down this forma on resulted as rock cooled slower than the surrounding granite, forming an aplite dike. 7 Lost Arrow Spire Lost Arrow Spire—City of Rocks Lost Arrow Spire—Yosemite Rock climbers in the 1960’s no ced the uncanny resemblance between the City’s Lost Arrow and the iconic spire in Yosemite Valley of the same name. The re‐use of names of several features represents the deep‐rooted connec on that early climbers had to Yosemite. 8 Box Top The box on top of this granite monolith resulted from the weathering of horizontal and ver cal joints. Look for this feature on the west side of the Circle Creek Basin. See Map on page 20 ‐21. 9 Clam Shell Once you recognize the “clam shell” in this granite dome, it will catch your eye on every visit. Most see it as they drive through the Reserve; however, very few venture out to experience the Clam Shell up close. 10 Tracy Homestead The stone house was home to many early se lers beginning with William E. Tracy circa 1901. W.E.T. was placed on a stone on the south side outside upstairs bedroom window. John H. Hull occupied the house circa 1909 and remodeled the east bedroom on the main floor, adding the large window and capstone with the inscrip on MAR 29 1909 J.H.H. The house was empty for many years and then burned in 1967. Please respect private property within the Reserve. 11 Camp Rock Camp Rock was a favorite res ng place for traveling emigrants. Some wrote their names in axle grease on the rock face; now over 160 years later, we can see those names and wonder what it was like for them as they traveled through the “Silent City.” Take a moment and walk around the rock. You will see hundreds of inscrip ons and dates ranging from 1843—1882. IDA FULLINWIDER, 12 JULY 1881 12 Chicken Rock This granite forma on is an excellent example of spires, joints and weathering. Some call this rock Sco y Dog others have called it Oriental Castle. What do you see? There are emigrant signatures on this forma on as well. Please do not climb or scramble on forma ons with signatures. 13 Monkey‐Face Rock Be crea ve; can you spot t

also available

National Parks
USFS NW