"CIRO Scenic View of Elephant Rock" by Wallace Keck , public domain
City of Rocks
Geologic and Historic Sites
Brochure about Geologic and Historic Sites at City of Rocks National Reserve (NRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Geologic and Historic Sites City of Rocks National Reserve A self‐guided journey to discovering geologic wonders and historical sites in City of Rocks Finger Rock City of Rocks Na onal Reserve is a partnership between the Na onal Park Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recrea on Geologic and Historic Sites City of Rocks Na onal Reserve A self‐guided journey to discovering A self‐guided journey to discovering geologic wonders and historical sites in City of Rocks Prepared by Idaho Department of Parks and Recrea on and the Na onal Park Service City of Rocks Na onal Reserve PO Box 169 Almo, Idaho 83312 h p://parksandrecrea on.idaho.gov www.nps.gov/ciro November 2014 2 Contents As you drive the City of Rocks road you will be able to see all of the rocks that are featured in this guide. You may see animals, faces, or buildings; only your imagina on limits what you see. 5 Steinfells Dome & Jacksons Thumb Stripe Rock Lost Arrow Spire Box Top Clam Shell 6 7 8 9 10 Circle Creek Overlook Tracy Homestead Camp Rock Chicken Rock Monkey‐Face Rock Slipper Rock Kaisers Helmet Treasure Rock Circle Creek Basin Devils Bedstead Overview Map 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20‐21 Stone Ruin to “T” in Road Register Rock Elephant Rock Window Arch Historic Corral Bath Rock Creekside Towers Morning Glory Spire Anteater Window Rock Parking Lot Rock King on the Throne Owl Rock Eric Wood Bread Loaves 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 3 38 39 South Twin Sisters Pinnacle Pass Other Points of Interest Further Adventures and Credits 4 City ofMain Rocks—Main Road Introduc on Overview Map Introduc on City of Rocks Na onal Reserve has long been an oddity and wonder, especially for passing emigrants on the California Trail (1843‐1882). Many of these emigrants wrote entries in their journals naming the rock features as they traveled through the valley. “…Pyramid Circle and the hills which encircle it, were the most beau ful and wonderful white rocks that we ever saw. This is known as the City of Rocks…” –Helen Carpenter 1857 Many of the granite forma ons were named by emigrants on the trail, local residents, and rock climbers. Can you see what they saw? Use your imagina on; you might come up with a be er name for the rocks. 4 City of Rocks Na onal Reserve Public Roads Overview Castle Rocks Finger Rock Visitor Center Bath Rock Twin Sisters 5 Steinfells Dome and Jacksons Thumb Steinfells Dome and Jacksons Thumb are favorite mul ‐pitch climbs. The dome is named a er the legendary Steinfell Climbing Club of Utah; many routes were climbed during the late 1960’s. Jacksons Thumb is named a er the late Ned Jackson, Superintendent from 1990 to 2001. 6 Stripe Rock Stripe Rock has become a popular three‐pitch climbing des na on since the popular route “Cruel Shoes” was established by Kevin Pogue. The stripe running down this forma on resulted as rock cooled slower than the surrounding granite, forming an aplite dike. 7 Lost Arrow Spire Lost Arrow Spire—City of Rocks Lost Arrow Spire—Yosemite Rock climbers in the 1960’s no ced the uncanny resemblance between the City’s Lost Arrow and the iconic spire in Yosemite Valley of the same name. The re‐use of names of several features represents the deep‐rooted connec on that early climbers had to Yosemite. 8 Box Top The box on top of this granite monolith resulted from the weathering of horizontal and ver cal joints. Look for this feature on the west side of the Circle Creek Basin. See Map on page 20 ‐21. 9 Clam Shell Once you recognize the “clam shell” in this granite dome, it will catch your eye on every visit. Most see it as they drive through the Reserve; however, very few venture out to experience the Clam Shell up close. 10 Tracy Homestead The stone house was home to many early se lers beginning with William E. Tracy circa 1901. W.E.T. was placed on a stone on the south side outside upstairs bedroom window. John H. Hull occupied the house circa 1909 and remodeled the east bedroom on the main floor, adding the large window and capstone with the inscrip on MAR 29 1909 J.H.H. The house was empty for many years and then burned in 1967. Please respect private property within the Reserve. 11 Camp Rock Camp Rock was a favorite res ng place for traveling emigrants. Some wrote their names in axle grease on the rock face; now over 160 years later, we can see those names and wonder what it was like for them as they traveled through the “Silent City.” Take a moment and walk around the rock. You will see hundreds of inscrip ons and dates ranging from 1843—1882. IDA FULLINWIDER, 12 JULY 1881 12 Chicken Rock This granite forma on is an excellent example of spires, joints and weathering. Some call this rock Sco y Dog others have called it Oriental Castle. What do you see? There are emigrant signatures on this forma on as well. Please do not climb or scramble on forma ons with signatures. 13 Monkey‐Face Rock Be crea ve; can you spot the monkey’s face? What intriguing shapes and figures can you find on your visit to City of Rocks? Write them down, take a picture of them, and share them at h ps://www.facebook.comCityOfRocksNa onalReserve 14 Cinderella Slipper Is this Cinderella’s lost slipper? This oversized shoe is featured on the same forma on as Monkey‐Face. The granite slipper measures five feet wide and 25 feet long. 15 Kaisers Helmet Let your imagina on wander. Visualize this spike‐like protuberance (pickelhaube) on the summit as a spiked helmet worn by German soldiers in WWI. Now do you see why it is named Kaisers Helmet? 16 Treasure Rock With tales of stolen gold and buried treasure, this forma on is shrouded in mystery and lore. Do you believe the story of buried treasure? A roadside a rac on, Treasure Rock sees many curious visitors each year. This legend is plausible. Although versions of the robbery diﬀer, most agree that the Kelton stage was robbed circa 1878 in gold bullion bound for a U.S. military camp in Boise. One bandit (in some accounts, two) was killed in the confronta on. The second was captured days later a er reportedly burying the treasure at the base of what soon become know as Treasure Rock. 17 Circle Creek Basin You will o en see ca le grazing on the lush meadows of Circle Creek Basin during the spring and summer months. The emigrants nooned and camped on the edge of the Basin. Clam Shell Box Top Lost Arrow See pages 8‐10 for descrip ons 18 Devils Bedstead Perched on a hill looms a feature with an ominous name—the Devils Bedstead. Can you see the headboard on the le and the footer on the right? Only the devil would sleep on a ma ress of uneven granite! Tigway is precariously perched. Is this the next rock to fall in City of Rocks? 19 20 Circle Creek Basin 21 Register Rock Register Rock conveys many shapes, depending on the viewing angle. Many see a sleeping camel, others see a turtle or the profile of Andy Gump. Take a moment to view the signatures wri en in axle grease. Emigrants, like A. Freeman and D. Tickner, stopped here on June 12, 1850 and “registered” their names. Learn more at www.nps.gov/ciro. 22 Elephant Rock This majes c dome resembles an elephant marching oﬀ into the sunset. Elephant Rock is one of the more easily accessible and popular climbing forma ons. 23 Window Arch Window Arch is one of the most frequently visited features in the Reserve, popular for group photos. The arch is located 300 feet north of campsite 37 . 24 Historic Corral This early 20th Century corral, part of the Durfee Homestead, fell into disrepair un l restored by BS Troop 18 in 2013. The corral is nestled against the rock and is diﬃcult to see from the road. Take a short walk south from Elephant Rock to visit the corral. 25 Bath Rock Snow and rainwater fill a large depression or panhole on top of Bath Rock, giving rise to the name. Many visitors climb the rela vely easy southwest face for a magnificent view of City of Rocks. In 1939 and 1940 the Bathtub Rock Bathing Beauty Parade was held here. 26 Creekside Towers Creekside Towers Trail winds along the base of this imposing feature. The trail’s gentle grade is suitable for families with children. Snow mel ng in the spring creates a small cascading waterfall adjacent to the trail. 27 Morning Glory Spire Morning Glory Spire (a.k.a. The Incisor) stands tall above the Inner City. The east face is glorious in the morning. The so rays of the rising sun bathe the spire in light. 28 Anteater This eye‐catching dome is the home of the classic “Scream Cheese” climbing route. This rock is frequented by climbers and is accessible from Creekside Towers Trail or Parking Lot Trailhead. 29 Window Rock Salt, wind, and water conspire to carve a window. Chemical and mechanical erosion con nue to enlarge this feature. For more informa on about erosive processes pick up the Geological Interpre ve Trail booklet at the Visitor Center. 30 Parking lot Rock The naming of this forma on could have gone something like this: Climber 1 ‐ “I just did this amazing climb today!” Climber 2 ‐ “Where was it, I’ll check it out tomorrow…” Climber 1 ‐ “It’s over on that rock by the parking lot.” Climber 2 ‐ “Oh, Parking lot Rock…” 31 King on the Throne This feature is best seen when driving downhill from Bread Loaves. O en the history of named forma ons is lost in me. Is King on the Throne named a er a feature that resembles a stone king or is it named a er Ted King, a local rancher who once used a corral just south of this rock? 32 Owl Rock Great Horned Owls o en choose this forma on on which to nest. Rock climbers in the 1980’s, a er mul ple frightening encounters with nes ng Owls, named this feature. 33 Eric Wood Si ng prominently above City of Rocks, this forma on was named a er a real person, Eric Wood. His friend and climber, Jay Goodwin dubiously honored Eric a er recognizing his profile in the north end of the forma on. 34 Bread Loaves Bread loaves needs no introduc on when viewed from the west. How many slices can you see? The greatest thing since sliced bread—climbing on Bread Loaves has always been popular. 35 Twin Sisters Twin Sisters majes cally rises 750 feet above the basin floor. The granite pinnacles were a landmark on the California Trail. Addison Pra an oﬃcer with the Mormon Ba alion returning from California named the forma on on September 15, 1848. Geologists marvel at the forma on of the deep crustal granites of the Green Creek Complex and Almo Pluton. For more informa on about the Twin Sisters see the Geologic Interpre ve Trail Guide 36 Pinnacle Pass Pioneers moving along the California trail traveled through Pinnacle Pass. The ruts and the swales can s ll be seen today. See the California Na onal Historic Trail Guide for more details. Access to Pinnacle Pass is available through guided ranger tours arranged at the Visitor Center. Please respect private property within the Reserve. 37 Other Areas of Interest Graham Peak Tafoni and Arches Inner City Circle Creek Basin 38 For Further Adventures Hike to Graham Peak to see a bird’s eye view of both City of Rocks Na onal Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. Follow the Creekside Towers Trail star ng in the Bath Rock Parking lot. Head northward weaving through granite pinnacles, spires, domes. Walk down the steps of the Flaming Rock Trail and wander into the “Inner City”. Venture out the North Fork Trail and experience the less traveled parts of the park. Drive Logger Springs Road to view Finger Rock which is featured on the front cover of this booklet. Credits The following individuals contributed to the development and comple on of the booklet: Juanita Jones, Jus n Lo house, Kristen Bas s, and Wallace Keck. 39 40