Little City of Rocks near Gooding, Idaho is a great idea for an outdoor excursion. It is a fairly simple hike, but the views are so impressive. Those wind carved hoodoos are just so beautiful!
The trail itself is about 3 miles, we did it in about an hour, but it would be good to allow at least 1.5, or even longer if you plan on playing around a bit. There is very little elevation gain, under 400 feet, so not a tough trail by any stretch.
Getting to Trailhead
The hike is about 20 minutes from Gooding. You head north from the town on 46 for about 13 miles. Turn off on a dirt road marked for the trailhead. We went in March after a few weeks of decent rain and there were a lot of potholes. A high-clearance vehicle is good to have! We had my husband's truck and it was no problem. If you need to, you can always park further up on the dirt road and hike into the trailhead.
You will see this fence at the end of the road and a small parking lot. Simply walk through the fence to start the hike.
Exploring little city of rocks
One of the best things about this trail is the fun areas for the kids, or adults to climb and explore.
We went early in the morning, and had the trail almost to ourselves, which was great.
The rock formations on both sides will leave you just breathless. I think I came away with about 100 photos just of the rock formations, but I won't bore you will all those here!
The trail opens up into a beautiful canyon, it really looks like something from Southern Utah.
You can see there is plenty of room to get off the trail explore the hoodoos and check the area. Of course, always be respectful of these wild areas. Leave them as you find them!
As you can also see, there is no cover on this trail. If you are hiking in warmer months, hike early! We were hiking in 70-degree weather and it was great.
Those sun flares though!! We love Little City of Rocks!
When the trail crosses the creek that runs through, which was dry when we were there, make sure and look for trail markers. They are pretty easy to find and will help you stay on the trail.
There are a few areas where you scramble just a little. Even for someone like me, who is terrified of scrambling, it isn't a big deal! Cookie Loved this hike, by the way.
Here we are on our way back out of the canyon in Little City of Rocks.
One word of caution on this trail- be aware of rattlesnakes. We were down by one of the pools, playing in the water, and this little guy showed up. He gave us our space, but we decided to head back up and away from the water. It's important to be cautious!
Suggestions for this trail:
- Wear sunscreen, as noted, there is very little shade
- As the weather warms, make sure you have bug spray. There are ticks in the area, so be mindful of this for yourself and your pets.
- Bring plenty of water.
- Some parts of the trail were overgrown. If you feel more comfortable, wear long pants. My hubby and I were in pants, but the boys were in shorts, they didn't mind.
- As shown in the last photo, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.