Things To Do
Photo by Wallace Keck
The geological features, within City of Rocks, are internationally renowned for rock climbing. The granite spires range in height from 30 to 600 feet. These spires, carved out of the landscape by wind, rain, and snow, feature textured rock that is tailor-made for climbing. City of Rocks offers a mixture of moderate and advanced climbs, often found side by side. Routes span a broad spectrum of features and challenges that require a full range of technique and style that are not generally found in one climbing area. About 700 routes have been developed to date. For information on climbing in the Reserve, climbing closures, and climbing guides, stop at the Visitor Center.
The climbing experience program offers visitors an introduction to the experience of climbing in a supervised setting.
photo by wallace keck
City of Rocks offers excellent birding opportunities in the Basin and Range province. Birding hotspots include: Indian Grove, North Fork Circle Creek, Window Rock, and Emery Pass Picnic Area. Highlights include: Pinyon Jay, Golden Eagle, Common Poorwill, Olive-sided and Gray Flycatchers, Rock and Canyon Wrens, Mountain Bluebird, Virginia's Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, and Brewer's Sparrow.
photo by Kris Hawkins
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. Maps can be acquired at the visitor center or downloaded here:
photo by wallace keck
Castle Rocks State Park
Castle Rocks State Park, a former ranch, is located adjacent to City of Rocks National Reserve. Its 1,440 acres include outstanding rock formations, early 20th century ranch structures and pastures. Recreational opportunities include superb bird watching, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, snowshoeing'and skiing. For more information on rock climbing view the Zone 1 and Zone 2 Climbers Guide to Select Routes in Castle Rocks State Park.
Castle Rocks State Park's Smoky Mountain Campground has RV camping available. There are 38 campsites that offer 30 amp electrical and water service. Smoky Mountain Campground also features an RV dump station. There are also two yurts (Pinyon and Sage) a Lodge and bunkhouse available for rent at Castle Rocks State Park.
For reservations: ReserveAmerica.com
Did You Know?
The uplifted and eroded rocks at City of Rocks National Reserve are like an open window into the earth where visitor and scientist can view tectonic events that raised the mountainous interior of the western United States, and the weather that shapes the current landscape.