Fall colors are beginning to pop with almost the full spectrum of the rainbow in brilliant display in Southern Idaho.
It’s a great time to hop in the car and check out the colors while enjoying a scenic drive in Southern Idaho.
Here are four routes guaranteed to please:
- City of Rocks Backcountry Byway – The route traces a circle around the Albion Mountain Range, passing through the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. Allow 3-4 hours for the full trip. You’ll see cottonwood trees and aspens in blazing yellow, and more colors in shrubs turning orange and red. Start from the I-84 Declo exit, go south on Idaho 77 to Almo, and take the gravel roads in the City of Rocks National Reserve over to Oakley and Idaho 27. The city of Oakley is on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop and check out old stone and wood-frame buildings. See the VisitIdaho web site for more details.
- Rock Creek Canyon to Pike Mountain – Go south of Kimberly and Hansen to travel into Rock Creek Canyon and follow the paved road to the summit by Magic Mountain and several Forest Service campgrounds. Just before Diamondfield Jack Campground, go left on Forest Road 507 to reach the top of Pike Mountain and enjoy a 360 degree view of the South Hills and the Sawtooth National Forest.
- Fairfield backcountry loop to Pine and Featherville –It’s a very scenic backcountry drive to travel from Fairfield north to Couch Summit (Forest Road #094) and down into the upper South Fork of the Boise River area, where the cottonwoods and aspens are glowing bright yellow with tinges of rouge. Most of the drive is dirt road after leaving the pavement to reach Couch Summit. You’ll descend a winding road (#227) to Big Smoky Guard Station and trailhead, and then follow #227 along the South Fork of the Boise River until you reach a road washout on the way to Featherville. Turn around and return the way you came. It’s also possible to drive to Pine and Featherville on paved roads via U.S. 20, and then drive along the upper South Fork of the Boise River until you reach the road washout. See an online map for guidance.
- Thousand Springs Scenic Byway – Start at Bliss and follow U.S. 30 to Twin Falls via the scenic Snake River canyon to Twin Falls. Enjoy many sights along the way, including Thousand Springs, Thousand Springs State Park, hot springs, fish hatcheries, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and more. The cottonwood trees along the Snake River are turning bright yellow. Take the Hagerman exit #141 on I-84 to begin the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway.