This unusual canyon north of Shoshone was carved over thousands of years by the Big Wood River, leaving twisting, almost supernatural lava rock sculptures behind.

It’s not easy to get to Black Magic Canyon — in fact, many locals don’t even realize that this geological treasure exists — and it is not for the faint of heart. First, you will need sturdy walking shoes capable of scrambling over smooth basalt, which can be slippery.

Second, you will absolutely need to call the Big Wood Canal Company, which controls the flow of water through the canyon, before leaving. (The company’s number is 208-886-2331.) Water created the canyon, and irrigation water still floods its narrow passage most of the year. Starting in the late summer, however, the canyon begins to dry as the need for irrigation water slows. It becomes accessible in late July and August and remains so through the winter, though test flows may be released as early as February. If you explore Black Magic Canyon without calling ahead you may find yourself trapped in a fatal flash flood.

Third, the canyon is a popular spot for rattlesnakes. You’re most likely to spot them in late summer.

If you’re willing to brave it, though, Black Magic Canyon offers some of the most interesting and unusual geological specimens in the United States.

Itinerarios de viaje

Memorial Weekend in Southern Idaho

The weather is finally getting warm, and the flowers are in full bloom. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the nature of Southern Idaho!

Top 10 Things to Do In Southern Idaho

Your Guide to the Most Astounding, Eye-Popping, and Obscure Sights and Activities in the Region Southern Idaho is not flashy. ...

Top 10 Must See in Twin Falls

Spending the weekend in Twin Falls and want to enjoy the town? From a local perspective, we created a top ten must see list! Read all our recommendations on the perfect list of things to do, plus advice only a local would know.

Women Solo Travel in Southern Idaho

Women solo travelers are welcome to Southern Idaho! Hike our unique locations and feel safe while doing it alone. Experience nature, kind hikers, and beautiful views all around!

Tea Kettle Cave - Gooding, Idaho

Tea Kettle Cave, located north of Gooding, Idaho is an incredible place. Explore under Earth's surface to find an oasis of green ferns, and a lava tunnel that will blow your mind!

Mogensen Trail Snake River Canyon

Mogensen Trail is conveniently located minutes from Twin Falls and Jerome. Enjoy waterfalls, bridges, BASE jumpers, and more on this peaceful hike!

Box Canyon State Park and Nature Preserve

Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve is a sight to be seen. Being the 11th largest spring in ...

The Ultimate Waterfalls Guide

Chasing waterfalls? The ultimate waterfall guide of Southern Idaho will give you directions, advice, and other facts about epic waterfall adventures!

Explore the Secrets of Black Magic Canyon

The smooth rock walls of Black Magic Canyon, carved by the Big Wood River thousands of years ago, provide an Arizona slot canyon aesthetic. In the summer, the water carves through the lava rocks, hiding it as if it didn't exist. But in the fall and winter - there is epic exploring to be done!

Top 10 Spring Break Destinations

Explore Southern Idaho's 10 best Spring Break locations! Who needs the beach when you have snow covered mountains and waterfalls to see?