Rock formations are all around Southern Idaho, and our favorite places to see them are in the City of Rocks, Castle Rocks, and the not as well known, Teepee Rocks. They are all located south of Burley, Idaho: a little city equipped with lovely hotels and beautiful places to eat. Follow along our suggestions on how to see the City of Rocks, Castle Rocks, and Teepee Rocks in a weekend!
Start by reserving a place to stay in Burley! There are tons of options, all unique in their own way. Find riverfront Airbnbs with views, and hotels with hot tubs and outdoor bars! One of our favorite options is the Best Western Burley Inn. All rooms are well furnished with cozy beds, HD TVs, mini fridge, microwaves, and more. There is an entire outdoor area you can lounge, play yard games, get drinks, and swim. The Best Western also offers a suite option where you can really make yourself at home. A great Airbnb to stay in if you have a large family or group of friends is the Riverside Retreat. It looks over the Snake River where you have access to boat, paddle, and jet ski! There are rental options in Burley like at Idaho Water Sports or Snake River Sports & Marina.
Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, go fill up on locally sourced food! The Boathouse is a restaurant situated at the edge of the Snake River in Burley. Sit outside on the patio for a gorgeous view over the river, or sit inside to gaze out the large windows. The food ranges from pasta, burgers, and other delicious American food. Some of the food is locally sourced, and even the to-go containers are made from a local wheat grower for added sustainability! The Boathouse is the perfect place to watch the sun go down.
The mountains are about 30 minutes away from Burley so wake up early for a full day of adventures! Driving south towards Castle Rocks State Park will take you past quaint historic towns like Declo and Albion. Support local by purchasing treats at Albion Mercantile. Find lots of goods and snacks to take with you.
Continue heading towards Almo and turn to Castle Rocks State Park to start exploring! Castle Rocks Trail is a 6 mile hike as well as South Fork Circle Creek. Around the Rock Trail is a 1 mile loop and is the most popular. See climbers all around on the granite boulders and enjoy the views of the towering Cache and Graham Peak. You can hike to the tops of these mountains as well! Be sure to always check weather conditions before hiking. Castle Rocks State Park has camping available and even has an incredible glamping yurt! The Glamping Yurt is the nicest Yurt in Idaho, and it sure is cute.
City of Rocks
Continue onto City of Rocks National Reserve for more stunning rock formations! The City of Rocks National Reserve is a park full of tall spires and steeple rocks scattered around the mountainous landscape. The park expands 14,407 acres, and you can drive 12 miles through the park. There are dozens of hikes around City of Rocks. A popular one is Window Arch because it is only a short walk from the parking lot. Another one nearby is Bath Rock, a challenging climb up the side of a rock – without equipment! On top of the rocks around the park provide crazy views of the landscape around you. The road leads all the way through the City of Rocks to Oakley. This road is only accessible summer-fall so be sure to check conditions before embarking on the drive.
Teepee Rocks can be accessed this way, but we recommend spending all day exploring Castle Rocks and City of Rocks! After you’ve had your fun in the parks, drive back up to Burley to enjoy another delicious dinner on your way home. Stop at Edith’s Cafe on the South side of Burley. Edith’s is an attractive diner that serves a variety of tasty food. Get your fill of Idaho Potatoes here because their hand-cut fries are very enjoyable! Get a good night’s rest at the Best Western and get ready for your next trip.
Get breakfast at Wayside Cafe in Heyburn. Their breakfast menu is huge! They are rated high online and are known for their homestyle cooking. After you’ve filled up on delicious breakfast food drive south to Oakley to visit Teepee Rocks. It is about an hour drive from Wayside Cafe to Teepee Rocks, as well as from the Best Western Burley.
Drive to the Oakley Reservoir and continue driving through on Trapper Creek Road. This drive will require a high clearance vehicle. There are many rocks and uneven road you will have to pass over. Drive into the hills for 20 miles past the reservoir. On the side of the road you will see large rock cliffs, and a fence to keep in open range cattle. Park in this pull off lot and find the gravel road that leads north. The gravel road will follow interesting rock cliffs to the magnificent geological formations sitting below Ibex Peak.
Teepee Rocks is a special place that is extremely delicate. Remember to never leave trash here, never climb on the rocks, and NEVER tag/spray paint on the rocks. We also don’t recommend driving in on the road to the rocks, even though it looks like one. There is no service here, so don’t get stuck! You can explore all around the rocks and back into the hills. Views from below and above are sublime! Enjoy the afternoon exploring and travel safe back home after your weekend of travel!