OBB Travel: City of Rocks

CATEGORIES: The Scoop, Travel

With many kids officially out of school and summer break commencing, I thought I’d do a few more posts in our travel series.  As a reminder, our travel posts are not sponsored, we just share fun trips we’ve done with our own families in hopes that that they’ll be helpful or interesting to all of you!  We have a huge amount of readers in the Idaho-Utah regions and this one is especially awesome since it’s so close to both.

The City of Rocks, a National Reserve in our country’s park system,  is a somewhat hidden gem (at least it was to me) located in Southern Idaho, not far from the Utah border.

City of Rocks Pano

My husband and I took a weekend trip there last fall and loved exploring.  We can’t wait to take our boys back because it’s like a giant playground.

City of Rocks 6

The City of Rocks was part of the trail for many pioneers making their way west, and there’s a lot of cool history associated with the area (like these cool engravings, with pioneer dates and signatures.)

City of Rocks pioneers

It’s rather breathtaking as you enter into the park because just as it sounds, it’s like a strange world make of giant rock formations.

City of Rocks 11

There are sheer cliffs, which make it a mecca for rock-climbing enthusiasts of all levels.

City of Rocks 10

We’re not campers by any means, but we did a quick overnight and I loved how all of the camp sights were different, and all included awesome rock formations right there.  Can you catch a glimpse of our camp site on the right?

City of Rocks 3

You can jump and climb all over everything, it was so much fun.

City of Rocks 9

Just a few steps from anywhere is a trailhead.  There are paths cris-crossing all over the place from short walks to steep climbs.

City of Rocks 5

We were there in the fall, so the foliage was especially beautiful.

city of rocks hiking

The nights were cold, but the daytime was perfection.

City of rocks hiking 2

Tons to see

City of Rocks 8

and photograph.

City of Rocks 7

Lots of famous rocks have names, and even the ones that don’t seem to come alive before you.  See the witch?

City of Rocks witch

It kind of reminded me of a movie set, from some sort of prehistoric dinosaur movie.

City of Rocks Pano

Tons of fun, great family getaway, and probably close to a lot of you in Utah, Idaho, and even California!  If so, put it on your list of places to explore.

City of Rocks
Location:  Located in Idaho, not far from the Utah border
Operating Hours: Open year round
Fees and Reservations: Day use is free.  If you want to camp, you’ll want to reserve a campsite, and it’s quite affordable.  There are also group camp sites and rates available.







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  1. I grew up not too far from there (in fact you probably passed my house on your way). I have always wanted to take my kids there but never made the time. I really should though, they would have so much fun!

  2. I had never heard of this place, but it sounds like fun! Thanks for sharing the info with us. Totally putting this on the list of cool places to go sometime!

  3. I’m a Boise-area native and visited City of Rocks with my family as a child, but I had forgotten all about it! I live in Salt Lake City now and have been wanting to take my kids camping somewhere fun this summer. Thanks for the reminder about this great place!

  4. Makes me miss Utah. We’ve been in Texas for 6 years now and without mountains I have no sense of direction! Makes me miss rock climbing too. Beautiful pictures!

  5. My husband is from the tiny town of Almo, which is at the entrance to the City of Rocks, so I’ve been there lots. It’s a really impressive place, one you should visit at least once!

    1. Heather, when we went last fall, Almo was celebrating Homecoming (or something similar?) The entire town was lined with people watching the little parade. It was such a quintessential small town scene, I loved it!

  6. My family spent a Christmas there in the 60’s! My aunt and uncle lived in the Boise area and we took the Scotty travel trailer and the Ford station wagon to visit for the holiday…Dad took the long way round from California and we ended up stuck in a blizzard and celebrated Christmas at The City of Rocks…even found a scrub pine we decorated with tin foil, popcorn and cookies. Several other cars loads of people were stuck, too and we fed them and made sure they were warm. The 4 of us kids loved it…but looking back I’m sure my folks were scared to death.

  7. We’re actually planning a trip there this Summer. I think my four boys will love it. Especially if there are lizards. Thanks for the preview!

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