City of Rocks Backcountry Byway

Forming a 49-mile necklace around the Albion Mountain Range, the City of Rocks Backcountry Byway traces a rural landscape steeped in history and geological significance.

Beginning in Albion on Idaho 77, the byway traverses the outskirts of the Pomerelle Ski Area and Lake Cleveland Recreation Area as it heads south.

At the base of the byway’s necklace lies its jewel, the City of Rocks National Reserve where more than 700 challenging climbs rival Yosemite National Park and make it a favorite spot among technical rock climbers worldwide. These granite outcroppings – some more than 2.5 billion years old – soar above alpine-like meadows and juniper tree stands, offering a variety of recreational opportunities; a visitor’s center traces the formation of the Reserve and its geological history.

Heading north, the last leg of the byway ends in historic Oakley; the entire town, in fact, is on the National Register of Historic Places and features the state’s largest concentration of old stone and wood-framed buildings.

The route begins along Idaho 77 at Albion south to the Connor Creek Junction, and continues south through Elba and Almo and the scenic City of Rocks National Reserve. From the Reserve, the route follows Birch Creek to the City of Oakley and the Oakley Historic District where it joins Idaho 27. It is a paved secondary highway from Albion to Connor Creek Junction. Connor Creek to Almo is a narrow winding paved road, and from Almo to Oakley the road is graveled until it joins Idaho 27 at Oakley. The best weather to travel is April to November. Call (208) 824-5519 for road conditions. Travelers should allow at least 1.5 hours for this 49-mile trip.

Reprinted from Idaho Department of Transportation Brochure

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