Day Trips from Idaho Falls

          Discovering spare time for an Idaho adventure maybe your definition of the ideal way to spend a day or weekend. If so, then learning more about the plethora of exciting destinations that may be found in Southeastern Idaho is an excellent next step. As the city of Idaho Falls has so much to offer when it comes to area events and destination hot spots, taking some time to enjoy the surrounding destinations may be just the thing you have in mind. You may decide to spend a day out and about or you may consider making your next journey into a wonderful weekend adventure. Take delight in finding new locations that you never knew existed and exploring some of the best that Idaho has to offer.

          Uncover Idaho destinations that may just the thing you were thinking of with to start a new hobby or perhaps clearing the calendar is just the thing need. Idaho’s scenic destinations make for outstanding opportunities to simply enjoy the surroundings or turn them into adventures of a lifetime. For others, it may be taking that long-awaited day trip that never seems to happen as planned. Below you will find a couple of popular - to possibly not so well known day-trip or weekend destination options. These scenic destinations have the potential to make your time away from the mix of it all, feel rejuvenating, and possibly even reinspiring, leaving you excited to tackle the challenges of the week ahead.

Destination: City of Rocks National Reserve

City: Almo - Cassia County, Idaho

Distance from Idaho Falls: Approx. 150 +/- miles

Best time of year to visit: Year-round, though ideal in warmer months as weather and road conditions may prevent access to all portions of the reserve due to snow. You are welcome to contact the City of Rocks Visitors Center for up to date road conditions.

Features: Hiking, equestrian use, biking, birding, rock climbing, trail exploration, nature viewing, photography opportunities, rock/ice climbing, picnicking, and camping.

Fees: Idaho State Parks require a $5 motor-vehicle entrance fee, though you may consider the Idaho State Parks annual passport which is available at any county Department of Motor Vehicles. The annual passport is $10 with in-state vehicle registration or $40 for out of state users online or by calling. If you’ve already registered you’re vehicle in Idaho, you may still purchase an annual passport by visiting your local Department of Motor Vehicles. There is no entrance fee to enter the reserve without a motor vehicle.

          Find yourself exploring some of Idaho’s most significant and majestic geological remains within the City of Rocks, also known as the “Silent City of Rocks”, located in the southern portion of Idaho’s Albion Mountains. This fascinating location stretches across 14,407 +/- acres of stunning desert land adorned by some of the most captivating geological formations that may be found in the state. Discover a maze of granite spires, monoliths, schist, quartzite, and igneous rock that was formed by the cooling of magma. The formation, erosion, and weather all contribute to the geological features that may be found that feature joints, arches, and panholes. Exploring the City of Rocks National Reserve one may find area wildlife known to frequent the area including elk, herds of mule deer, moose, black-tailed jackrabbits, bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmot, bobcats, coyotes, chipmunks, an array of birds, mountain cottontail and snowshoe hares just to name a few. As a neat addition to the trip, be sure to consider also checking out the Castle Rocks State Park (not to be confused with City of Rocks National Reserve).

          Discover the City of Rocks Visitors Center which boasts maps, interpretive displays, audiovisual presentations, books and abundant area information that may help make for a more interesting trip as there is much to be found within the reserve. The visitors center is located in the nearby city of Almo and makes for a great start to the expedition and acts as an excellent resource for park rules and regulations, updates on road conditions, and questions you may have about the reserve. For best results, check online or call the visitors center in advance for the most up to date hours and days of availability. The visitors center also offers information on camping and other recreational opportunities within the reserve. Camping is permitted and may be reserved up to nine months prior, which is a good indication that it’s best not to wait until the last minute, especially if considering an overnight stay at this destination. For additional overnight stay options, you may also consider checking out information on the National Park Service - City of Rocks National Reserve Idaho lodging options. If your planning to bring a horse or other pack animal, calling the visitors center is an excellent starting place for a full set of rules, amenities, and equestrian trails offered. The City of Rock National Reserve is great for all to enjoy, pets included (rules apply).

Destination: Lava Hot Springs

City: Lava Springs, Idaho

Distance from Idaho Falls: Approx. 85 +/- miles

Best time of year to visit: Mix of Year-Round & Seasonal Destination / Activity options.

Features: Hots Springs, mix indoor/outdoor activity options, shopping, dining, and lodges

Costs: May be associated dependant on the desired activity.

          The city of Lava Springs is best described as a quaint resort town well known for its plethora of soaking hot springs and various indoor and outdoor activity options. The general area is home to a conglomeration of highly desirable destinations combined with a host of area activities and things to do, places to go, as well as various inns for overnight accommodations. This neat location provides an abundance of year-round activities, including hot springs, indoor water activities, an arcade, a museum and a selection of shopping and dining options. Seasonal activities include zip lining, snowmobile trails, fishing opportunities, hiking trails, tubing the river, golfing, as well as biking opportunities. Planning in advance for an overnight stay is ideal, as during the warmer months this destination can be quite popular. Additional overnight options include several campsites scattered in and around town for those who prefer to camp.

         Planning ahead of time for your trip may help make for an overall more enjoyable trip. As with any trip planning, be sure to check in advance for fee changes, changes to opening dates, reservations, closures or restrictions, rules and regulations, weather advisories, and similarly related matters that may affect travel plans. Reviewing your plans and checking for any updates that may have occurred, prior to heading out on the road, may help prepare you for things you may not have considered or simply weren't expecting.

Sources:

http://www.npshistory.com/publications/ciro/nrr-2010-191.pdf

https://www.nps.gov

https://magicvalley.com/outdoors/reasons-to-visit-city-of-rocks-in-winter/article_f39b3668-77a2-534e-a28d-e870d4ae0560.html

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