Occupying 14,743 acres in Gooding County, Idaho, the Gooding City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area is located between Gooding and Fairfield on the Bennett Hills. Featured in the Wilderness Study Area are rock features known as hoodoos that reach heights of more than 100 feet. The Gooding City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area is next to three other Wilderness Study Areas; Black Canyon, Gooding City of Rocks West and Little City of Rocks.
The southeastern part of the Wilderness Study Area includes a number of deep canyons that are carved into rhyolite. In the western part of the Wilderness Study Area is a perennial stream within which are cutthroat trout. While sagebrush and grass are the most common vegetation within the area, visitors will also encounter willows, aspen, and cottonwoods within some of the area’s canyons. A variety of wildlife make their home in the area, including elk, deer, coyotes, and bears.
When looking for a place to explore in the south-central part of Idaho, the Gooding City of Rocks East is an excellent choice. Pack your RV and head to the unique scenery of this Wilderness Study Area, where you can enjoy a diverse landscape and plenty to see and do.
To get to the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area, take ID-46 N. This four-lane road is paved and with the exception of times of inclement weather, should be smooth to drive upon. After 12.2 miles, take a left. Proceed along a paved, two-lane road for 1.1 miles until you arrive at Little City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area.
As the roads are paved and, for the most part, flat, you should be able to travel relatively easily no matter the size of your RV or trailer. Keep in mind that since elevations range from 4,458 feet to 5,758 feet within the Wilderness Study Area, snow may be present during the winter months, so snow tires are important during winter travel in the region. As you prepare for your adventure, consider bringing along snow chains.
As part of the route is a two-lane road, slower vehicles should be prepared to pull over when possible to allow vehicles that move faster to proceed ahead of them.
Parking is available at the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area.
Public transportation is not available to the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area.
During your visit to the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area, take a look at the Idaho State Parks within easy driving distance for camping opportunities. Three Island Crossing State Park, for example, is on the Snake River and offers 81 sites. The State Park houses the Oregon Trail History and Education Center and is able to accommodate RV’s and trailers that are up to 60 feet long.
Sites include a picnic table and fire pit and electric and water hook-ups are available. Restrooms are available at the campground as well. Making the campground at Three Island Crossing State Park your home base will ensure you can easily explore the recreation available in south-central Idaho.
Massacre Rocks State Park is another location to consider when searching for a place to camp when visiting the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area. The majority of the campground's 42 sites have water and electric hook-ups and RVs and trailers that are up to 60 feet in length are able to be accommodated.
Sites have a picnic table and fire pit and the campground offers a bathhouse and a boat launch ramp. A bonus of the campground is its proximity to recreation; campers can easily access a disc golf course, fishing opportunities, hiking trails, and a museum.
With 81 sites that can accommodate RVs and trailers along with 17 tent-only sites, the campground at Bruneau Dunes State Park is an excellent option for those looking for a home base while exploring the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area. RVs and trailers as long as 50 feet can be accommodated; electric hook-ups are available at the RV sites year-round, with the water turned on outside of the winter months.
Restrooms with showers operate during spring, summer, and fall, with vault toilets available for those camping during the winter months. Sites offer a picnic table, grill, and fire pit.
During the winter months in south-central Idaho, the Gooding County Snow Park offers 150 miles of public land that can be used for snowmobiling. Easy to access from the Little City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area, the Gooding County Snow Park is within the Bennett Hills.
Not a fan of snowmobiling? No problem; the Snow Park also offers opportunities for visitors to sled, cross country ski and snowshoe!
During your visit to the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area, you can easily take a side trip to Black Magic Canyon. Located near Shoshone, Black Magic Canyon is a small canyon that over the course of the last 10,000 years was created by the Big Wood River.
The result of the river’s carving efforts is sculpted black rock that appears similar to the slot canyons seen in Utah. Spring and fall months are the best time to visit Magic Canyon.
Ready for a little indoor adventure? Located in Twin Falls, the Herrett Center is a non-profit museum with seven galleries and a large archive, the collection of which includes natural history, astronomy, and art. The Earl and Hazel Faulkner Planetarium is also a part of the Herrett Center; the largest planetarium in the state offers regular showings. The Center offers free admission for visitors.
During your visit to the Little City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area, hiking is a great way to explore your surroundings. During your travels, you can traverse land within the Bennett Hills, along with view the unique rock formations (called hoodoos) that are found within the Wilderness Area. Keep your eyes out for flora and fauna that are popular in the area and enjoy the solitude offered by the area.
The Silver Creek Preserve is an excellent choice for a side trip when visiting the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area. About an hour's drive from Gooding, the Preserve includes a spring-fed high-desert creek that flows from the base of the Picabo Hills.
The spring offers the opportunity for trout fishing and visitors may catch sight of wildlife stopping by for a drink, like moose, elk or deer. A number of birds can also be spotted in the Silver Creek Preserve. Take in the natural beauty of the preserve and enjoy a relaxing day within nature.
Looking for additional areas to explore? Not far from the City of Rocks East Wilderness Study Area is the Black Canyon Wilderness Study Area. With 10,371 acres of land in the southern part of the Lemhi Mountain Range, the Wilderness Study Area includes flat prairie, canyons, and rolling hills. Explore on foot to view the hoodoos and don’t forget to keep your eyes open for wildlife like elk, deer, and coyote!