City of Rocks National Reserve - Camp, Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike, and Rock Climb near Malta, Idaho
City of Rocks National Reserve, Malta, ID 83342, USA,Malta,Idaho
42.0774026, -113.7037797
23.3 miles SW of Malta, Idaho
Address: City of Rocks National Reserve, Malta, ID 83342, USA
GPS: 42°4'38.6"N 113°42'13.6"W
Maps | Directions
State: Idaho

Restrooms Picnic Tables Trails Rocks

Camp, Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike, and Rock Climb

The City of Rocks, or "The City" as locals call it, is one of the best places in the country to go rock climbing. Throughout the valley granite spires dominate the skyline, reaching anywhere from 30-600 ft. Because there are so many rocks that can be climbed, the level of difficulty ranges from 5.6 all the way to 5.13. There are over 700 devloped routes throughout the reserve, with different options for climbing like trad or sport climbing. Unlike most climbing spots, City of Rocks allows a full range of technique in one location, making it the perfect place for both the new climber and the seasoned, technical climber. Permits are not required to climb, though climbing is not allowed on any rocks within the California Trail Corridor. 

Some of the more popular areas to climb are the Bread Loaves, Bath Rock, Parking Lot Rock, Elephant Rock, and Treasure Rock. Each of these rocks may have routes as easy as a 5.6 right next to something as difficult as a 5.11. Most of these rocks have parking lots in close proximity to the rocks. The parking lot for Bath Rock includes a water spout and bathrooms. Campgrounds can be found throughout the reserve, though they do require a fee. Many routes will only have two or three permanent bolts on the rock, requiring additional equipment for setting up routes. In order to preserve the natural beauty of the city regulations were put in place for rock climbers. Be aware of different regulations before going to the city. 

Bread Loaves offers some of teh most well known and climbed routes in the reserve. Walls such as Decadent Wall include routes that go from a 5.7 to a 5.11a. One of the most popular climbs is known as Carole's Crack, a 5.8 featuring a double crack at the top. Many people will rappel down from the top or practice lead climbing on these routes. The best time to climbthese routes is during the morning because they aren't being hit by the sun. As the day goes on, shade will become scarce around the walls. 

Bath Rock has a large parking lot with views of the valley as well as some nice campgrounds. On top of Bath Rock has a wide variety of routes as well, with routes ranging from 5.4 to 5.12c. There are some good climbs to introduce new climbers to crack climbing. At the top, climbers will be greated by a nice view of all the other peaks in the area they can climb. On the west side, there is a clear trail with steps leading to the routes, as well as fences built near the wall to keep people from harming the nature. 

There is plenty of history in City of Rocks, both climbing history as well as pioneer history. Many pioneers used to come through this area on the California Trail and signed their names on some of the surrounding rocks with axle grease. The climbing history does not date back as far as the pioneers, but began in the 1960's. Today there is a rock climbing festival held in the park every September. This festival offers introduction to climbing courses, as well as demo's of different climbing projects and a lot of climbing. During the summer the park services offer climbing classes for any interested. 


2.7K Edited by cteicheira

Never modify trail features. Ride trails when they're dry enough that you won't leave ruts. Speak up when you see others on the trail and always yield to hikers, horses, and others coming uphill. Always ride on the established trail.

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors


From Malta, Idaho

  1. Head north on Main St S toward Center St (95 ft)
  2. Turn left onto ID-77/Center St
    Continue to follow ID-77
    (7.5 mi)
  3. Continue straight onto Elba-Almo Rd (16.7 mi)
  4. Turn right onto 3075 S/City of Rocks Rd
    Continue to follow City of Rocks Rd
    (4.8 mi)
  5. Turn right (0.2 mi)
to add photos & videos and suggest edits

Guest Review/Comments



1/17/19 8:54 am
This location has wonderful opportunities to interact with your surroundings. With many different levels of rock climbing it allows people at every level to feel a part of the rock.
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City of Rocks by Courtney Teicheira City of Rocks by Courtney Teicheira
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