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National Park Service announce the expansion of popular climbing spot City of Rocks

A wide shot of a summer sunrise at Graham Creek Canyon. Granite rocks are in the foreground, with a sweeping grassy valley and mountains are in the background.
Savana Jones
/
City of Rocks National Reserve / National Park Service
ALMO, Idaho (Nov. 30, 2022) — A summer sunrise overlooking Graham Canyon, which is adjacent to the boundary of City of Rocks National Reserve and newly acquired by the National Park Service.

The City of Rocks National Reserve is described as “the silent city” for its tall rocky spires and sculpted arches. Located about an hour away from Burley near the Utah border, the popular rock climbing area is known for its aspen groves and enormous granite formations. It’s also a winter hang-out spot for moose.

The National Park Service announced it purchased 105 acres last week in an effort to expand the protected area. The expansion was made possible through a partnership between federal and state agencies - as well as nonprofits and private landlords.

In addition to the NPS purchase, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is buying 260 adjacent acres. That property is currently held by the nonprofit Conservation Fund.

The partnership means the public will be able to access a total of 365 acres of recreational land in Graham Canyon. A new public road is also set for construction in 2023.

In a news release, City of Rocks Acting Superintendent Tara McClure-Cannon praised the expansion as an example of different actors coming together to preserve an area of unique beauty.

Graham Creek Canyon at City of Rocks National Reserve
Savana Jones
/
City of Rocks National Reserve / National Park Service
ALMO, Idaho (Nov. 30, 2022) — 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 granite outcrops, aspen groves, portions of Graham Creek, and overwintering locations for moose.

The Reserve was created in 1988 under the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act which seeks to protect vulnerable ecosystems from human encroachment.

A mix of federal, state park and private land, the reserve will now be around 14,500 acres.

Graham Creek Canyon at City of Rocks National Reserve
Savana Jones
/
City of Rocks National Reserve / National Park Service
ALMO, Idaho (Nov. 30, 2022) — 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 granite outcrops, aspen groves, portions of Graham Creek, and overwintering locations for moose.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.