City of Rocks National Reserve

Photo image of City of Rocks National Historic Site in Idaho.

The Wagner Perspective

City of Rocks Complex

Almo, Idaho

One of the great scenic and historic landmarks along the California Trail, the City of Rocks was mentioned in almost every emigrant account. It is an area of fantastically weathered granite formations, which the emigrants fancied as steeples, hotels, houses, temples, and palaces in a "Silent City of Rocks."

On July 19, 1849, Wakeman Bryarly's "road continued between . . . & around these rocky piles but the road itself was good. You can imagine among these massive piles, church domes, spires, pyramids, &c., in fact, with a little fancying you can see [anything] from the Capitol at Washington to a lovely thatched cottage."

The City of Rocks Complex includes a series of sites: Twin Sisters, a natural historic landmark; Pinnacle Pass, wide enough for one wagon; Emigrant Canyon Spring, where remnants of the Kelton to Boise stage station and excellent trail ruts can be seen; and Salt Lake Cutoff Junction, where this alternate route comes up Emigrant Canyon to join the California Trail in an open valley approximately one mile south of the Twin Sisters.

How do I visit?

City of Rocks National Reserve
PO Box 169
Almo, ID 83312
Tel: 208-824-5519

Image map location for City of Rocks in Idaho.
Image map location for City of Rocks in Idaho.

NPS Image

Last updated: February 21, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

National Trails Office Regions 6|7|8
California National Historic Trail
1100 Old Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe, NM 87505



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