Last Saturday Faith and I drove a little over an hour from Twin Falls and spent the better part of the afternoon hiking around in Little City of Rocks, just outside a tiny but prosperous farming town called Gooding. Apparently there are two Cities of Rocks, a big one in the opposite direction from Twin, and this smaller one. This one seemed fairly extensive to us - we only went about a mile and a half through the trails, and then spent a long while clambering about, before walking back the way we came. The trail appeared to go through the city and loop back on itself several miles further on, passing through a large study area and a deeper section of rock beyond where we turned around, but the "map," such as it was, consisted of a lumpy drawing of the City painted onto a faded board, divided into four sections, with no scale or legend. So it's anyone's guess how far the trail really extended, or even whether it was one trail or two separate ones.
In any case, the part we saw was extraordinary, and I'm sorry my photographs aren't better than they are. We took tons of them, but it's so bright out here and the landscape is pretty monochromatic, so they look washed out to me. In addition, the open spaces in Idaho are so very large that a photograph of pure landscape doesn't convey a proper sense of the magnitude of what you're looking at. The coolest part about City of Rocks was the absolute silence. There were several other cars parked at the head of the trail when we got there (and none by the time we got back), but we didn't see another soul while we were there, or hear them, or find any sign of anyone except the remains of a campfire about a third of the way in. There were four or five hawks riding the updrafts most of the time we were hiking, including one that flew right out of the sagebrush fifteen feet in front of us on the way down (a little unnerving, I must say), but even they didn't make a sound. I could hear the rocks scraping way over my head while Faith climbed and every little dislodged pebble was clearly audible. It was amazing.
These are a few of the pictures that turned out a little better. (Argh. Uploading and formatting drama. I had planned to caption these, but at this point I'm just sick of fiddling with this post. Sorry.)