Tour Southern Idaho: City Of Rocks


By Ben Lyda

Malta, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Idaho isn't known as the Gem State for nothing. It's full of hidden gems full of history and adventure.

Over the coming weeks, Ben Lyda will take us on a journey as we tour southern Idaho.

Located in southern Idaho is a small gem known as the City of Rocks, or The City, as locals call it.

In the 1800s, it was known as the silent city, as more than 52,000 persons reportedly passed through.

"During those late 1800s, there were thousands of immigrants that came through there every year, and they would camp down in the basin, down in the meadows in the lower areas of City of Rocks. You can still see a lot of those inscriptions today; that's one of the fun things to do there is go look at some of these inscriptions that were from the wagon grease from the wagons," explains Dave Bingham, author of City of Rocks.

The City is physically much the same as it was over one hundred years ago.

Local ranchers continue the tradition of ranching in the isolated valleys.

"The first time I went to The City was in the late 70s, and it was a very quiet place then, occasional climbers on weekends, probably no one ever during the week," Bingham says.

Although it's steep with history, The City is also known worldwide for its rock climbing.

"It's fantastic. I wasn't expecting so much in such a small concentrated area, really fun and the rock quality has just been awesome," climber Ryan Lurie says.

Located west of Malta, The City is home to camping, hiking trails and hundreds of climbing routes.

There are plenty of activities for one day or even a whole week.

"It is a magnet for people from all over the country, and all over the world really, because it's a unique environment," Bingham explains.

"It's got a really good mix of tread and sport, and it's got great camping. The camping facilities are really good. I was surprised at how well they keep the restrooms and just the campsites and just the general management has been really user friendly," Lurie adds.

Each year thousands flock to enjoy the sights, the climbing and camping, and the rich history.

If you would like more information about the City of Rocks, you can pick up Dave Bingham’s guide book at Elevation Sports on Blue Lakes in Twin Falls.

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