City of Rocks

 

 

 

 

Emigrants on their way to California in 1850 left the Oregon Trail in Idaho and headed southwest along the California trail.  This valley was a favorite stopping place for the wagon trains.  It is Circle Creek Basin.   It contained all the essentials of a good campsite; water, firewood, and good graze for the animals.

 

 

 

 

Many of the emigrants left messages on the rocks.  Most of these were written using axel grease.
A later traveler decided to stay and start a ranch.  This is all that is left.
The basin is studded with strange rock formations.  The emigrants looked at this one and decided it looked like a "city of rocks".  These rocks are mostly rectangular like buildings and the holes in them resemble windows; especially if you have a vivid imagination.
This one is called Elephant Rock.  To give you a perspective of the size of the rock, the tiny, vertical projection at the top left of the rock is a person.  The rock is a favorite of rock climbers.

It is only a short drive through the basin but it is well worth the effort.  It is a beautiful valley and the rock formations are unique.