CITY OF ROCKS NATIONAL RESERVE
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.
City of Rocks Campground
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 hiking trails and vistas.
All campsites have a fire-ring/ground grill and a picnic table.
Clean vault toilets are located in central areas.
Drinking water is available at Bath Rock and Emery Pass Picnic Area April-October.
City of Rocks offers designated back country camping in the Indian Grove area. Permits are required for back country camping.
Smoky Mountain Campground
conveniently located just two miles away from the Visitor Center and services in the town of Almo.
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. Each site includes
water service May-September
30 amp electrical hook-ups
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.
City of Rocks National Reserve is
Horseback riding can be one of the best ways to experience much of the Reserve's backcountry. Often you can see more wildlife, explore steep rugged country, and more quickly escape the crowds. City of Rocks equestrian trails take you deep into the heart of the North Fork Circle Creek country, Indian Grove, and even 8,867-foot Graham Peak.
Horse trailer parking is currently permitted near Register Rock and at Bread Loaves. The equestrian day-use parking area and trailhead at Smoky Mountain is the best facility, and the California Trail leads into the Reserve. Equestrian camping is available at Juniper Group Site in the Reserve and at Smoky Mountain Campground.
Over 22 miles of hiking trails traverse City of Rocks National Reserve, leading to arches, windows, and dramatic overlooks. Trails vary from easy to steep and strenuous. Short walks to all-day hikes deep into the backcountry are available, and trail maps can be acquired at the visitor center.
Short, relatively easy hikes
Window Arch Trail, 300 feet, one way
Bath Rock Trail, 1,800 feet loop
Creekside Towers Trail, 0.6 miles one way
Longer, more difficult trails
Geological Interpretive Trail, 1.2-mile loop
Flaming Rock Trail, 0.76 miles, strenuous loop
North Fork Circle Creek, 6.3 miles between trailheads
Some of the best locations in the state for observing Pinyon Jay, Virginia's Warbler, Gray Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, Bushtit, Greater Sage-Grouse, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Plumbeous Vireo. As of June 2020, 179 bird species have been documented in the checklist area, and 117 species have been counted in a single day
Idaho's State Bird Mountain Bluebird is here, as well as nesting Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawk, Burrowing Owl, Canyon Wren, Green-tailed Towhee, Lesser Goldfinch, and many more that are recorded on the Checklist of Birds.
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.