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City of Rocks National Reserve – Scenic Drive
2
Overview
Location

Almo, Idaho

Sights

Camping, Hiking, Scenic Drive, Rock Climbing, Mt. Biking, Wildlife

Distance

50 Mile Scenic Loop

Parking Lot Elevation

5968 ft

Summit Elevation

Varies

Elevation Gain/Loss

Varies

Time Required

2+ Hours

Pets

Allowed on leash

Fees

Free

Water Info

Bring a liter of water or more depending on what you do. Water also at the Visitor Center.

Best Season

Spring, Summer, Fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Full exposure in most areas so plan accordingly

Trail Condition

Dirt road in fair condition

Restrooms

Outhouses at each campsite

Visitor Center

In Almo, Idaho

Camping

Yes

Food

Bring snacks and a meal. Restaurants located in Almo

Equipment

Bring hiking shoes.

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead: 42.09076 N, 113.63300 W


The Trail:

As you approach the town of Almo, Idaho you will see the signs signaling the beginning of the National Scenic Byway.

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The Scenic Byway makes a fifty mile loop through the reserve and surrounding area and is mostly dirt road.  Once in the city of Almo there are most services. A small restaurant, Fuel, Hot Springs, and a Hotel.

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Just past the hotel is the Visitor Center for City of Rocks and Castle Rocks. The visitor center has water, a restroom and sells maps, books, and souvenirs.

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Cache Peak looms huge over the town of Almo. This is the highest peak in SE Idaho at over 10,000 feet.

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Just past the visitor center is the entrance to the reserve itself. This is a great area to camp with lots of different scenic campgrounds. Most have tent pads and all have fire pits. There are also several larger group campgrounds. In summer make sure you reserve a spot ahead of time since it gets very busy. Here a few of the unique settings of these campsites.

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This areas biggest pull are for the extreme or novice rock climbers. There are more than 600 established routes ranging from 30-600 feet high.

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This a great place for animal viewing and spectacular unique views.

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The Scenic Drive has several very cool highlights.

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Chicken Rock

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Camp Rock

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Kaisers Helmet

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Treasure Rock. Legend has it that an outlaw buried gold he had stolen from a stage coach robbery at the base of this rock.

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Durfee Rock

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Twin Sisters. At 638 feet tall the twin sisters are the tallest formation in the reserve.

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Breadloaves

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There is a great little picnic area at Breadloaves. Just west of Breadloaves is a great off road area with great forest and camping. Its called the Logger Springs Road.DSC_4180

Morning Glory Spire. This is one of the most popular routes. If you look closely you can spot climbers on the rock.

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Parking Lot Rock.

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Bath Rock. This one is giant. It has a very large panhole on top that is often filled with water which is how bath rock got its name. There is a large parking area here with several trailheads to beautiful trails.

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Window Arch. The campsites around this arch are my personal favorites.

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Elephant Rock

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Personal Thoughts:

This is a very unique and gorgeous place to spend some time. Its a great place to camp and this beautiful drive is made better by exploring some of the hiking trails or scrambling up some of the rocks. If you do visit be sure to check out some of my favorite hikes in the area:

Creekside Towers

Geological Trail

Backyard Boulders

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Ratings (out of 10)
Trek Planner Rating
User Rating
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Difficulty
4.0
4.0
Technicality
3.0
Enjoyment
7.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

7.2
Trek Planner Rating
4.0
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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2 Comments on "City of Rocks National Reserve – Scenic Drive"

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[…] to the borders of Utah, and Nevada. To get to the road you will have to drive a good portion of the City of Rocks Scenic Drive. There turn from the scenic drive onto logger springs is right after the breadloaves formation. You […]

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[…] can’t tell in the photos but some of these walls are HUGE. This area kind of reminds me of City of Rocks in Idaho. I would imagine there are fun rock climbing routes to be […]