Description - *Note: All information presented is non-seasonal, as per the wishes of the State of Idaho.
Idaho’s newest state park features giant granite spires known collectively as Castle Rocks. Congress authorized the National Park Service to purchase Castle Rock Ranch in November 2000. The Park Service exchanged the ranch for land owned by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation inside Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. The exchange was completed in 2004. Some of the geologic features are outside the park, but within the Castle Rocks Interagency Recreation Area. The department has partnered with the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to manage recreation throughout the Castle Rocks geologic area.
- The 1,240-acre ranch includes examples of early 20th Century ranching structures, irrigated pasture and striking scenery. Some spires rival nearby City of Rocks National Reserve, and offer exceptional rock climbing. Other recreational opportunities include picnicking, hiking, equestrian trails, and wildlife viewing. Mule deer, mountain lion, big-bighorn sheep, and the state’s first recorded ringtail are found here. Bird watching is superb, with nesting populations of common snipe, sandhill crane and sage grouse frequently encountered.
The park also protects some of the most pristine archeological sites in southern Idaho. Evidence suggests that Castle Rocks was favored by different cultures over the previous 2,470 years. Portions of the park are included in the City of Rocks National Historic Landmark.
Recreation - There is primitive camping available nearby in the City of Rocks National Reserve.
Climate - The climate in Idaho varies with the elevation. The bottom of Hell's Canyon, Boise and other locations at low elevations receive hot summer weather. Temperatures at these elevations often reach 90 degrees or more during the summer months. At the same time the mountains will get mild temperatures with cool nights.
Winters are just as extreme with the mountains experiencing extreme conditions and temperatures. An average of 500 inches of snow falls on the Idaho highlands. Temperatures are known to dip below zero degrees F on many winter nights. The lower elevations enjoy a more mild winter season with less precipitation than the mountains. The sun is a constant throughout the year. Be sure to wear sunscreen and layered clothing in Idaho's unpredictable weather.
Fifty miles south of Burley on routes 27 and 77 to Oakley and Almo, 2 miles north of Almo on the Elba-Almo Road, then west 1.4 miles on 2800 South (Big Cove Ranch Road)