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Idaho - Day 3 - California NHT & City of Rocks National Reserve

California National Historic Trail & City of Rocks National Reserve

Day 3 started off with our hike out of the Craters Wilderness. Our packs were a little heavier than maybe they should have been, and we weren’t looking forward to the 3 miles with them on our backs.

Weight aside, the hike back to our car was GORGEOUS! We got back, unloaded and cleaned ourselves up some. It was on to City of Rocks National Reserve for a much more relaxing camping experience.

It was a 3 hour drive between the two sites and we needed to stop and grab something to grill and some firewood before entering the park. There aren’t exactly many options between Arco and Almo, Idaho. (Make sure you gas up beforehand, if you make the same trip)!

There was one small general store down the road from the City of Rocks visitor center and thankfully they had almost everything we needed - including a little gas to get us to the next city.

We checked-in with the visitor center and were finally able to watch a park film on-site! We got our stamp and checked out the surrounding California National Historic Trail artifacts. We actually drove a quite a bit of this historic route throughout our journey!

After grabbing a snack, it was to the park! The camping here is very different than most and it was really cool. Instead of just one big campground, the campsites were distributed throughout the entire park! I purposely chose our site towards the end. It was one of 3 in the area, very private, but still very close to a bathroom. I think it was the best site in the park😉!

By having one of the last sites along the park road, we were able hit all the hikes and stops we wanted, while on the way to our site, without backtracking. After starting our day off with the 3-mile hike out of Craters, we weren’t planning on anything too crazy here at City of Rocks. We did one 1.5 mile trail and checked out some shorter viewpoints and overlooks.

One of the photos that will be posted on FB & Instagram is of Register Rock. People who passed through here on the California Trail left their names and messages for people behind them. It was really cool seeing how many names there were and how well you can still read some of them after all these years!

We made it to site 61 with plenty of time and daylight to enjoy our evening. We cooked up some hotdogs and had a feast! The fire kept us warm as the temps dropped quickly (especially with the 10º difference from the main park up to our campsite, due to a 1,000ft elevation gain)! That was quite a surprise!

It was a lovely night of food, games and relaxation. We were still out of cell range, but I was able to catch up on some photo editing and Kayla read her Kindle by the fire☺️🔥.

Golden Spike NHP & some roadside quirks on the way to the Bonneville Salt Flats coming up in day 4!

For more photos, visit us on Instagram and Facebook!


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