Spring is magical because its sight, smell, crisp atmosphere and sounds warm the nation. So does the Castle Rocks State Park. Its natural beauty, solitude and ranching heritage, create a magnificent setting for any recreational activity. Visitors are enriched with the remnants of the 1888 homestead and the 20th century ranch. The park was originally inhibited by Native Americans of the Illinois tribe. However, in 1730 they were kicked out by Fox and Sauk tribes but in the 19th century, the New Englanders inhibited the park. However, this area was first proposed to become a park in 1921 with the aim of preserving the natural beauty, remnant wilderness and scientific interest of the area. Also, the park was preserved so as to attract both local and international tourists.
The park still uses the structures, pasture and the irrigation ditches that were used then. The fact that the wildflowers at the park have started to blossom and a wide array of birds returned from the winter hideouts, adds to the serenity of the park. As a result, the park showcases among the best bird watching scenery in the country. Birds like sandhill crane, snipe and sage grouse, are seen. This together with its peaceful environs makes it a heavenly abode where the time never seems to move at all.
The State park is found only two miles northwest from Almo village, Idaho, but it enables visitors to have an astounding experience. It is opened every single day on a yearly basis between 7am and 10pm. All visitors are warmly welcomed and embraced with the utmost respect. They are also assured of their safety and security. This is because the park is under 24/7 security surveillance. Park security guards are on call throughout the day and night and continuously patrol the park.
The 1,240 acre ranch was previously privately owned. However, in 1999 it was placed under public ownership after the Access Fund and Conservation Fund purchased it. Although, the Acquisition Act for the ranch was passed in 2000, the park was opened for public use in 2003. In 2007, an additional 200 acre piece of ranch was added. Currently, the Park is of approximately 2000 acres where 710 of the acres are designated for the sole purpose of Illinois nature preservation, limited interpretation activities and restricted scientific study. Various bills have been passed with the aim of protecting the park. Currently, the park is under the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department for Parks and Recreation (IDPR) and USDA Forest Service protection.
The Castle Rocks State Park is endowed with diverse recreational facilities in an eye-catching setting. The park harbors towering Douglas-fir, coast redwood, gnarled oaks and bark shedding madrone forest. The forest is also mossy and lush. There is 32 mile of horse riding and hiking trail crisscrossing the forest. In fact, the trail connects the Park to the Pacific Coast, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, San Lorenzo and Santa Clara valley. Moreover, the park is regarded as the most significant natural area in Idaho because it is entirely covered with a wide array of distinctive plant species like fern and remnant prairie. Furthermore, the park has a myriad of rock formations and ravines, which offer an adventurous hiking and rock climbing experience especially the spires rival.
On the other hand, the various rock formations present a thrilling experience for top roping as well as rare bolted routes. The Vaqueros sandstone on the eroded pockets and caves of the rocks requires individuals to use unique climbing styles including mantling. This technique enables individuals to push themselves upwards on one hand so as to be able to reach the higher pockets. This heightens the thrill of rock climbing. In addition, the park presents an incredible opportunity for beginner rock climbers to hone their rock climbing experience. As a result, a myriad of treks and tracks rock climbing classes are offered to individuals of various ages and abilities at the park. Also, adjacent the river there is a sandstone bluff, which in according to various historical studies, this is where the park got its name. In addition, there is a thin glacial till that covers the region. As a result, the weather is changeable. Visitors are thus advised to carry layered clothing.
The other recreational activities at the Park include hiking, picnicking, tobogganing, wildlife viewing (the park is endowed with mountain lions, mule deer and bighorn sheep, cross-country skiing and equestrian trails. There are three areas designated for picnicking. One of the sites offers an extemporary scenic view over the Rock River Valley. The picnic areas contain the following facilities; picnic tables, grills, shelters, playground equipments, drinking water and toilets. A few of the picnic tables are scattered along the river.
The trails, six in number, are designed in a manner that enables visitors have an ecstatic experience as they go hiking or horse riding. They create an opportunity for visitors to come near the vicinity of the birds and woodland animals that inhibit the park. In fact, the scenic views are breathtaking thereby creating an excellent opportunity for photographers to sharpen their skills. On the same hand, the Park provides about a one and half miles of bank fishing where visitors get a chance to catch and some for the first time see catfish, bass, crappie and walleye. There is also an opportunity of using a boat ramp for the fishing activities if one desires. Visitors also get the chance to witness some of the renowed archeological features in Southern Idaho, for example, the Castle Rocks that had a cultural impact to the communities that lived within the park about 2,470 years ago.
Therefore, if you are planning for a spring vacation dedicate some of that time to visit the magnificent State Park. To get there use the road that is just North of Almo. This road will eventually lead you to the entrance of the park. Castle Rocks State Park is situated on Highway 35 about 2 and half miles from the junction on Highway 9. A small fee is charged to every vehicle that enters the park for its maintenance and development.
|Address||3035 S Elba-Almo Rd Almo, ID 83312|