Gem State Roundup

National Park Service acquires land adjacent to Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve

By: - December 5, 2022 4:30 am
City of Rocks Idaho Graham Creek

The National Park Service has acquired approximately 105 acres of land adjacent to the boundary of City of Rocks National Reserve known as the Graham Creek Canyon property. It features impressive granite outcrops, such as Train Rock, beautiful aspen groves, portions of Graham Creek, and overwintering locations for moose. (Courtesy of Savana Jones, City of Rocks National Reserve.)

Officials with the National Park Service announced Wednesday they have acquired 105 acres of land adjacent to City of Rocks National Reserve.

The land is located along the northeastern boundary of City of Rocks in Graham Canyon and includes Train Rock and other granite outcrops, a portion of Graham Creek, aspen groves and moose habitat, according to a press release issued by the National Park Service.

On top of the National Park Service land acquisition, officials announced the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is purchasing an additional 260 adjacent acres that had been held by The Conservation Fund nonprofit. 

Together, the two purchases will add more than 360 acres of public recreational access to the Graham Canyon area. 

“This purchase has been an excellent example of federal and state agencies, The Conservation Fund, and private landowners coming together to preserve an area of unique beauty and natural and cultural resources,” said Tara McClure-Cannon, acting superintendent of the City of Rocks National Reserve, in a written statement. “This purchase also establishes new recreational access for the public in southern Idaho. The public can start enjoying the property immediately, however, the new access road isn’t slated to be built until summer 2023. Those looking to experience the new property will be able to hike in along the proposed access easement from the county road on the east side or hike in from Indian Grove.” 

The public may obtain a map of the new property from the City of Rocks visitor center. If conditions are right this winter, the new land could provide options for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the coming months, National Park Service officials said. 

City of Rocks is located near Almo, Idaho, just north of Idaho’s border with Utah. The area attracts climbers, backpackers and hunters and is known for the tall spires and steeple rocks that emigrants observed on the California Trail, which passed through what is now City of Rocks.


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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.