Unique and scenic rock formations are always a must-do along our travels in the west. One such place is the Little City of Rocks located near Gooding, Idaho.
The Little City of Rocks (not to be confused with “City of Rocks” in Southern Idaho) features thousands of acres of rock formations including towers, mushroom caps, hoodoos, natural arches, and spires.
Plan to spend a couple of hours wandering through the area. If you are traveling with children, add another hour or so as there are many nooks and crannies for them to explore.
Geocachers will enjoy searching for the multitude of geocaches stashed in the area, while those that enjoy Native American history will want to seek out petroglyphs hidden among the rock formations.
Photographers will likely want to boondock in the area, so they can take advantage of the Golden Hour to capture the most dramatic shots. While websites advertise the main loop trail, it is easiest to just pick one of the many side trails that wind among the rocks and create a loop.
When you go
The turnoff for the Little City of Rocks is located 12.5 miles north of Gooding, Idaho on Highway 46 and marked by a BLM sign. You will find the turn at N43° 06.391 W114° 40.271
The parking area/trailhead is located about two miles down a graded dirt road suitable for most vehicles.
If you are uncomfortable driving your RV to the trailhead, you will find a wide place to drop the RV about 500 feet in from the highway. You can then proceed from there by foot or in your tow vehicle or dinghy. You will find the trailhead at N43° 07.176 W114° 40.986
The area is under the jurisdiction of the BLM, standard BLM dispersed camping (aka boondocking) rules apply. Keep in mind that rattlesnakes may be present in the warmer months.
If you do not wish to boondock in the City of Rocks, there is an inexpensive campground not too far away on the northern outskirts of Gooding. The Big Wood River RV Park is operated by the City of Gooding. Most sites are pull-thru water and electric sites with BBQ stands.
At last check, the rates were a very reasonable $15 per night. You will find the entrance to the park just off Highway 46 at N42° 56.962 W114° 42.779
A free dump station is located in Gooding on the 200 block of 2nd Ave W.
Exploring the Little City of Rocks, just another adventure in RVing!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Nice article. I’ll have to check it out if I get that far north, probably next summer.