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Albion Range
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Albion Range

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Albion Range

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Idaho, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 42.18560°N / 113.6603°W

Object Title: Albion Range

Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 10339 ft / 3151 m

 

Page By: mountaingazelle

Created/Edited: Mar 13, 2007 / Sep 26, 2013

Object ID: 277435

Hits: 19215 

Page Score: 98.23%  - 79 Votes 

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Overview

 
Cache Peak
Cache Peak

The Albion Range is located in South-Central Idaho. The range runs for about 25 miles and is northwest of the Raft River Mountains near the border of Idaho and Utah. It is a small mountain range with unique qualities. Fewer people come here to climb mountains though and you can usually count on solitude when you leave the popular trails behind. The majority of people are here to visit the City of Rocks. Depending on your preference, you could go hiking, rock climbing and mountain climbing in the same day.

The range is geographically complex to say the least. It can be described as having several ridges separated by basins with mountains in between. Harrison Peak is in the northern section, Cache and Independence Peaks are in the central section, and Graham Peak is in the southern section near the City of Rocks. To the southwest is the ridge known as Middle Mountain. There are two other small mountain ranges located to the east of the Albion Range. They are the Cotterel Mountains to the northeast and the Jim Sage Mountains to the east which are part of the larger Malta Range.

The Albion Range is located entirely in Cassia County. The first humans to inhabit this county were the Paleo Indians. They settled in the area 15,000 to 16,000 years ago. The Shoshone, Paiute and Bannock Indians would later establish several communities in the area using the natural resources of the land to hunt, fish and gather food. The county was named after the nearby creek. It was called Cassia Creek and is pronounced as "Cash-ya". The name originally came from two words: cajeaur, which is a French term for raft; and also from James John Cazier, who was the captain of a Mormon emigrant train. They later changed the spelling to Cassia.

The California Trail passes through what is now the City of Rocks. Wagons trains of the 1840's and 1850's left the Raft River valley and traveled through the area and over Granite Pass into Nevada. The names of emigrants were written in axle grease and are still visible on Register Rock. Ruts from wagon wheels also can be seen in the rocks. James Wilkins was among the first wagon travelers to call the area "City of Rocks" near the southern end of the range. They said it looked like "a dismantled, rock-built city of the Stone Age." City of Rocks would later be a landmark for emigrants on the Salt Lake Alternate Trail and the Kelton, Utah to Boise, Idaho stage route.




Independence Lake
The largest Independence Lake


Getting There


From the West:

From Boise, take I-84 East to exit 216 (Declo); go south on Idaho 77 to Conner Creek, then southwest on the Elba-Almo road to the visitor center in Almo and the park entrance. This is the preferred way to get to the Albion Range from the west.

Here is an optional way to get there from the west. It is a seasonal road that is only passable when the road is dry. Drive east to the town of Burley. Take Highway 27 south. Proceed south about 20 miles to the town of Oakley. Turn left in the center of Oakley following signs for City Of Rocks. In about a mile (outskirts of town), veer right at fork (signed). Proceed several miles on dirt roads till you reach a signed junction. Turn left and you'll arrive at the Upper Breadloaves Rock Formations near the west entrance in about 5 miles.

From the East:

From Pocatello, take Interstates 86 and 84 to exit 216 (Declo). Turn south on Idaho Route 77. Proceed through Albion and Elba to Almo. Drive south out of Almo, past the ranger station (on left) and turn right at a marked junction. This will put you on the east end of the City of Rocks.

From the South:

From Salt Lake City and the rest of the Wasatch Front, Drive on I-15 North until you get to the exit to I-84 west. Take exit 245 (Sublette) and go west to Malta. From Malta take Idaho 77 to Conner Creek, then southwest on the Elba-Almo road to the visitor center in the town of Almo and the park entrance.

By Air:

The nearest airports are at the cities of Burley (charter) 45 miles north, Twin Falls (85 miles NW), Salt Lake City (170 miles SE), Boise (215 miles NW), Pocatello (100 miles NE). There is also a seasonal summer driving route from Burley (Idaho 27) to Oakley, that goes south along the City of Rocks Back Country Byway.




Cache Peak
Cache Peak seen from Mount Independence summit ridge


Mount Harrison

 
Mount Harrison
Mount Harrison
 
Lake Cleveland
Lake Cleveland

Mount Harrison - (9,265 feet)

Mount Harrison is a prominent mountain especially when viewed from a distance. It is located in the northern part of the range. The mountain and lake were named from the 1888 presidential election. The winner was Benjamin Harrison and his name went to the high mountain. The loser of the election was Grover Cleveland and his name went to the lake below the mountain. It is one of the prettiest glacier lakes in the Albion Range. Lake Cleveland is a popular destination in the area. The biggest attraction on Mount Harrison is Pomerelle Mountain Resort on the east side of the mountain.

This is one of the easiest peaks to climb in the Albion Range because a windy paved road that goes right below the summit. This road is only open during the summer. It is better to climb Mount Harrison during winter, spring, and fall. It is a nice hike when the road is covered in snow. The top of the mountain is crowned by a flat plateau. On the summit is a forest service lookout. It is actively manned during summer. There are also informational signs on top of the mountain.

The Skyline Trail provides a nice scenic hike in the area. It doesn’t go to the summit of Mount Harrison but does travel along its southern slopes. To get to the trailhead, drive beyond the turnoff to Pomerelle Ski Area, and continue to the turnoff to Twin Lakes trailhead. Turn left, and go 0.3 mile to the end of the road to the Skyline Trail trailhead. This is a fairly new trail but is in good condition if you can find it. The route goes for 9 miles all the way to Basin-Elba Road near the highest point on the road. It ends near the northwestern side of City of Rocks near the Indian Grove Area. A shuttle vehicle is needed to do the entire hike.


Cache Peak

 
Cache Peak from the south...
Cache Peak
 
Cache Peak from the southwest...
Cache Peak

Cache Peak - (10,339 feet)

Cache Peak is the highest mountain in the Albion Range. It is also the highpoint of Cassia County and the highest point in Idaho south of the Snake River. The mountain is large and has a gentle summit. It is about 8.5 miles south of Mount Harrison. The name of the mountain comes from a French word meaning to hide. It is a term used more commonly to describe fur trappers. In 1826, Peter Skene Ogden and his Snake River brigade of beaver trappers were the first white men to visit the City of Rocks. The area was ignored since there were few beavers in the dry lowlands.

The highest glacier cirque in Southern Idaho is located below Cache Peak and Mount Independence. It holds beautiful Independence Lakes. There are four lakes in the cirque but the trail doesn’t go near all of them. They are the main reason why this trail is popular. The forest located around them is unique because it has only aspen at the lower elevations and only sub-alpine fir at the higher elevations.

The best route for climbing Cache Peak is from the Independence Lakes trailhead. This is a nicely maintained trail all the way to the lakes. After getting to the last lake the trail disappears. From there you will have to climb up to the saddle between Cache Peak and Mount Independence. Once there, turn left, and try to find the easiest way through all forested ridge to the summit. Another trail that you might want to do is the Rangers Trail. It branches off from the trailhead at the 2 mile mark and then circles around the south side of Cache Peak.


Mount Independence

 
Mt. Independence is the bump...
Independence & Cache
 
Looking at the...
Independence & Cache Saddle

Mount Independence - (9,950 feet)

Mount Independence is Cache Peak's neighbor to the north. The mountain is climbed less because of its slightly lower elevation. It has an interesting cliff band below its east face. I am unaware of the origin of the mountain's name but it certainly sounds patriotic. It was most likely named after the cirque of lakes below the peak. Mount Independence is made of large granite rock slabs with a summit located on a large plateau.

The standard route up the mountain starts from the Independence Lakes trailhead. Once you arrive at the lakes you have two routes to choose from. The easiest is to continue hiking passed all of the lakes toward the saddle between Cache Peak and Mount Independence. Once you are at the saddle, turn right, and traverse over to the summit. You'll have a good view of Cache Peak's forested northwest ridge. The other route follows the northeast ridge directly up the face above middle Independence Lake. I have only descended this route. It was steeper than I thought it would be but not difficult.

The east side of Mount Independence is thought to have the steepest wall in Southern Idaho. It drops for 900 feet in less than a quarter of a mile. Independence Lakes provides the scenic foreground for this mountain. Another thing to mention is that cows sometimes roam the trail freely in summer. One year, I encountered a large herd of cows in July. They have even built a barrier below the first lake but it doesn't seem to keep them all out so you may see a few of them while hiking.


Graham Peak

 
Just coming
Graham Peak & City of Rocks

Graham Peak - (8,867 feet)

Graham Peak is the mountain that is seen as the backdrop of the City of Rocks. It is in the southern end of the range. Hundreds of people see the mountain every year and may not even know its name. Graham Peak blends in well with its surroundings. It has dozens of granite domes and rocks located below its slopes. The mountain is located approximately 5.5 miles southwest of Cache Peak.

Graham Peak is accessed from the east side of the City of Rocks. Take the Pot Holes Road that leaves the main road near the large and obvious meadow. This road is northwest of the town of Almo. The road is goes for three miles along the western side of the Albion Mountains. It goes near the northern slopes of Graham Peak not far from the summit making it a short hike from here.

I am unsure if the mountain can be reached directly from climbing areas in the City of Rocks. Some of the area is located on private land so this would be an issue. It may also be difficult to hike through all of the thick brush that is below Graham Peak. This is the main reason why the Graham Peak is usually approached from the other side.




Elba Peak (ID)
Elba Peak : Jim Sage Mountains Highpoint - by Dean


Malta Range


The Malta Range is located to the east of the Albion Range. It was given the name Malta by early settlers, but the USGS recognizes it as part of two smaller mountain ranges. They are both administered by the BLM and the state of Idaho.


Cotterel Mountains - (7,140 feet) 
The Cotterel Mountains,...
Cotterel Mountains


The Cotterel Mountains are located to the northeast of the main ridge of the Albion Range and north of the Jim Sage Mountains. The highest point in the range is Peak 7,140. The best way to access the mountain is from its west side. Drive on Conner Creek Road as far as you are able to. There is a road that ascends the south ridge of the peak. This makes a good snowshoe route during winter. Cotterel Mountain is located at the north end of the range. It is a tilted block mountain with a steep escarpment to the east.
 
Jim Sage Mountain, 8,046, a...
Jim Sage Mountains


Jim Sage Mountains -- Elba Peak -- (8,046 feet)

The Jim Sage Mountains are located to the east of Cache and Independence Peaks near the central part of the Albion Range. It is reminiscent of the high desert plateaus of Southern Utah. The highest point in the range is known as Elba Peak and is 8,046 feet high. Red Rock Mountain is near the center of the range and is 6,382 feet high. Sheep Mountain is the 5,764 foot prominent lone point at the east edge of the range. Like the Cotterel Mountains, the Jim Sage Mountains are composed mostly of quartz latite volcanic rocks. There are several tilted Miocene rhyolite lava flows and ash-flow tuffs. The Jim Sage Mountains are best known for its healthy population of rattlesnakes and obsidian rocks.




Parking Lot Rock. Norma s...
Parking Lot Rock in the City of Rocks - by Brian Jenkins


Rock Climbing


Rock Climbing is the reason why most people come to visit the Albion Range. The City of Rocks has been known for years as one of the best granite rock climbing areas. Castle Rocks State Park is a newer area which also has hundreds of routes.


 
Shirley topping out on Funky...
Funky Bolt
 
Shauna rapping off of Lost...
Lost Arrow Spire

City of Rocks National Reserve

The City of Rocks is a world class rock climbing destination. It is the most well known rock climbing area in Idaho. It is a special place where many people have learned how to rock climb including myself. There are routes of every type and difficulty. The City of Rocks was originally called the Silent City of the Rocks by early pioneers. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Landmark in 1974. The historical and geological value of the area eventually led to its designation as City of Rocks National Reserve on November 18, 1988. The area is now managed by the National Park Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

The first person to climb on the many of the rock formations was Jean Nicholson. She lived near Circle Creek Range and explored the area as a teenager. Technical rock climbers first came to the City of Rocks in the 1950's. They weren't sure what to think of the place since mountain climbing was more popular back then. There were few people who climbed here, so they formed the Steinfell Climbing Club in order to get more climbers to join in. It included George, Greg, and Dave Lowe, Kent Christianson, Dick Growe, and Brad Roghar. Many of the well known rock formations were climbed. In the 1970's, they looked for routes which offered natural protection.

It was later in the 1980's and 1990's that routes up faces, many of which looked featureless, were being put up and climbed. In 1987, Ted Thompson and Darius Azien were the first climbers to use a power drill while on rappel. Routes were being put up faster than ever with this new tactic. Then another small group of friends led by Dave Bingham started to put up routes non-stop for days on end. Tony Yaniro and Todd Skinner would go on to climb many of the more difficult routes. Dave Bingham has written several guidebooks for the area. SP members rpc and Dow Williams have made an excellent page for City of Rocks.




Castle Rock Ranch
Castle Rocks State Park - by SawtoothSean



 
Castle Rock
Castle Rock
 
Castle Rock Ranch
Castle Rocks State Park

Castle Rocks State Park

Castle Rocks State Park is located north of the City of Rocks. It is in Stines Creek Basin which is known locally as Big Cove. The area is still being developed with routes. It became open to the public in the spring of 2003. Castle Rock is made out of the same type of granite as City of Rocks. There are a few differences between the two. Castle Rock's rock formations are more scattered and separated. The area has one main parking area unlike the City of Rocks which has many different parking areas located along the road. Many of the areas require longer approaches. There is a campground at Castle Rocks State Park. You can also camp at the City of Rocks or on BLM land.

The most prominent and well known rock formation is the Castle Rock Massif. It has the highest concentration of routes in the area. This is located a short distance from the visitor center. It is known as Zone 1 and many routes are bolt protected. The other two zones are Castle Rock East and Castle Rock West. Zone 2 is known as Castle Rock East. It has a rock formation known as Comp Wall where a climbing competition took place in 1987 that featured many of the best climbers at the time. Other rock formations include Bracksieck’s Wall, Tidal Wave, and Gold Wing. Zone 3 is known as Castle Rock West. It is bordered on the east by Johnson Creek. The biggest walls here are Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Jug Wall.




City Of Rocks
View from Parking Lot Rock in the City of Rocks - by rpc


Albion Range Geology

 
Elephant Rock from the north.
Elephant Rock
 
Found this arch
Arch

The Albion Range is covered by the 40 square mile Cassia Batholith which uplifted 28 million years ago. The faulting resulted in interesting layers of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and very old Precambrian rocks. Much of the area is covered in granite. The Albion Range is an alpine island of rock and mountains in a sea of green vegetation. The lower areas consist of sagebrush mixed with pinyon pine, mountain mahogany, and aspen. It is usually quite easy to navigate through this vegetation but the brush can be dense.

The landscape of City of Rocks has been sculpted from granite that was intruded into the crust during two widely spaced times. The granite that composes most of the spires is part of the younger Almo Pluton. However, some of the spires are made of granite that is part of the 2.5 billion year old Green Creek Complex that contains some of the oldest rocks in the western United States. The granite has eroded into an amazing assortment of shapes. Many of these spires are now called by interesting names such as Elephant Rock, Rabbit Ears, and The Anteater.

The upper surfaces of many of the rocks formations are covered with flat-floored weathering pits with large potholes. These potholes formed with the help of acidic rain water. The most notable pothole is located on top of Bath Rock and is continuously filled with water from rain or snow melt. This is part of the process known as granular disintegration. When mineral water ran down rock faces over millions of years it formed a layer of crust over them. These layers are called patina and are more resistant than the layers that are underneath them. The rock layers that form around the patina weather away and form edges and pockets that make good handholds and are great for climbing. This is what makes City of Rocks a unique place to rock climb.




Looking northeast from our...
Steinfells Dome and Jacksons Thumb - by Brian Jenkins


Flora and Fauna

 
Cache Peak
Cache Peak Vegetation
 
Rare plant life...
Rare Flowers

Plants and Flowers

The Albion Mountains and surrounding lands have a wide range of plant life. The lower elevations have grass, sagebrush, shrubs, and Utah and Rocky Mountain junipers. The valley and lower prairies have a dry desert environment. The higher elevations have quaking aspen, sub-alpine fir, and limber pine trees. Located near the summit of Mt. Harrison is a Research Natural Area which was designated to maintain and preserve natural processes and biological or physical features. The alpine environment includes rocky boulder fields, lakes, and mountains.

There are four rare plants that can be found within the Research Natural Area and in other Albion Range locations. They are the Davis Wavewing (Cymopterus davisii), Vivid Green Aster (Machaerantha laetvirens), Shasta Aster (Machaerantha shastensis var. latifolia) and Christ's Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja christii). Davis Wavewing is known from two other locations near Cache Peak. Vivid Green Aster is known from two other Idaho sites and one in Nevada. The Shasta Aster is separated from its other populations in Oregon.

Livestock grazing has become a threat, although it is supposed to be prohibited within the Research Natural Area and precluded from the rare plant habitat at the summit. Livestock impacts occurred extensively within the Research National Area and rare plant areas during the 1999 grazing season. Cows have roamed the area for hundreds of years so little could be done to stop this. The Christ's Indian Paintbrush is an endemic flower to Mount Harrison, and has not been discovered anywhere else in the range. Only one population has been found and it covered approximately 200 acres. It was discovered in 1950 by John Christ.

 
Free-soloist pauses for a...
Butterfly
 
Hummer at City of Rocks
Hummingbird

Animals

Many animals live in the Albion Mountains. Mule deer migrate from the east side of the Albion Mountains, across BLM land, and then go east to the Jim Sage Mountains. Large populations of mule deer make their home in the lower elevations of the range. The area is popular with hunting during the fall season. Snowshoe hares live in the mountains. There are small populations of lynx, cougar, and coyote. Amphibians can be found as high as Lake Cleveland above 8,000 feet.

Several species of migratory and resident birds rely on the habitat but their population varies each year depending on environmental conditions. Some of those birds include hummingbirds, bald eagles, golden eagles, turkey vultures, rough legged hawk, northern goshawk, boreal owl, western burrowing owl, ferruginous hawk, northern pygmy owl, and loggerhead shrike. You can also commonly see Sage Grouse and Blue Grouse in the mountains. Bats forage and travel from lower elevations all the way up to Mount Harrison.




Bath rock
Bath Rock in the City of Rocks - by imontop


Cassia County History


The Albion Range is located entirely in Cassia County. The first humans to inhabit this county were the Paleo Indians. They settled in the area 15,000 to 16,000 years ago. They were one of the earliest people to live in North America. The Shoshone, Paiute, and Bannock Indians would later establish communities in Cassia County. They used the natural resources of the land to hunt, fish, and gather food. Buffalo that roamed in the City of Rocks were hunted and nuts of the pinyon pine trees were gathered. They found agriculture to be plentiful.
 
Historic Tabacco Paper
California Trail Papers

The California Trail passes through what is now the City of Rocks. Wagons trains of the 1840's and 1850's left the Raft River valley and traveled through the area and over Granite Pass into Nevada. The names of those emigrants were written in axle grease and are still visible on Register Rock. Ruts from wagon wheels also can be seen in some of the rocks. James Wilkins was among the first wagon travelers to call the area "City of Rocks" near the southern end of the Albion Range. They said it looked like "a dismantled, rock-built city of the Stone Age." City of Rocks would later be a landmark for emigrants on the Salt Lake Alternate Trail and the Kelton, Utah to Boise, Idaho stage route.

Most of the emigrants on the California Trail didn't see any Native Americans, but some of their journals record seeing smoke signals rising from high hills and the surrounding mountains. The first white men arrived in 1826. Peter Skene Ogden and his Snake River brigade of beaver trappers were the first white men to visit the City of Rocks. Having few beaver, the area was ignored. Mormon pioneers then came to settle near the Albion Range and the area is still predominately Mormon. The county was named after Cassia Creek and is pronounced as "Cash-ya". The name originally came from two words: cajeaur, which is French for raft; and also from James John Cazier, who was the captain of a Mormon emigrant train. They later changed the spelling to Cassia.

By 1868, pioneers were settling in Albion Basin. The next ten years saw people moving to Malta, Elba, Almo, and Oakley. While cattlemen and sheepmen grazed their herds, Mormon pioneers began farming operations near the Oakley Basin. Oakley became known as the educational and religious center for the Mormons who settled in the area. The city of Burley was named after David E. Burley who was a passenger agent for the Oregon Short Line Railroad Company. In 1918, Burley officially became the county seat of Cassia County. The courthouse was built in 1939 and is still used by the county government. The Tracy Store in Almo opened in 1894 and is still used today.

Because of the diverse amount of agriculture, Cassia County is one of the leading agricultural counties in the state of Idaho. A large amount of products come from beef cattle, dairy cattle, and sheep. You may even see a lot of the cows when you are hiking on some of the trails. Potatoes, sugar beets, beans, and cereal crops also make it one of the leading counties in the nation as well. Approximately 82% of the total economical sales in Cassia County are from agricultural production and most of its direct or indirect employment is dependant on agriculture.




Cache Peak and Mount Independence
Storm over Cache and Independence from Mount Harrison


When to Climb

 
Winter Wonderland
Winter on Mount Harrison
 
Early morning
Early Morning Clouds

The best time to climb in the Albion Mountains is from June to September. There will be considerable snow at the higher elevations during other times of the year. Winter ascents will usually require skiing or snowshoeing.

Approaches will be longer due to snow covering access roads. The mountains can get hot so take plenty of water anytime you go hiking. At night, temperatures can be cold but are comfortable during summer.

The best time to rock climb is during the spring and fall seasons. This is from April through June and September through October. July and August are the hottest months of the year with temperatures as high as 80-100 degrees. Expect occasional afternoon thundershowers during this time. This area receives about 10 to 15 inches of precipitation in summer.

Weather Forecast for Almo and Oakley and the City of Rocks Weather Forecast




Looking down on NW camping...
Northwestern area near Cache Peak - by Dean


Red Tape


The Albion Range is managed by Sawtooth National Forest

Here is the website for the City of Rocks

There are no fees for mountain climbing or rock climbing in the Albion Range.

There is a fee for camping. See Camping Section below.

 
Castle Rock Ranch
Castle Rocks State Park - by SawtoothSean

The following rules apply:

Group size: May 1 - Nov. 30: Limited to 12 people and 14 head of stock.
Group size: Dec. 1 - April 30: Limited to 20 people and 14 head of stock.

No shortcutting of any trails
No disposing of garbage or waste


Contact Information:

Sawtooth National Forest
2647 Kimberly Rd. E.
Twin Falls, ID. 83301
Phone: (208) 737-3200

Minidoka Ranger District
3650 South Overland Avenue
Burley, Idaho 83318-3242
Phone: (208) 678-0403

City of Rocks National Reserve
P.O. Box 169
Almo, ID 83312
Phone: (208) 824-5563




The Albion Range from Burley....
Albion Range: Harrison, Cache, and Independence - by brendon


Camping


There are around 64 designated campsites in the City of Rocks. They have fire rings, grills and picnic tables. There are also three group sites are available. There is one potable water source in the reserve. Most of the campsites are near rock formations and can be are accessed from the road. There are no hook-ups, showers or dump stations. Vault toilets are located throughout the reserve. Gathering of fire wood is also prohibited. Bring your own wood or purchase at the visitor center. Backcountry permits are free and available at the visitor center. Camping is available in the winter after the gates are locked if you want to hike in.


Mount Harrison Camping:
 
Mount Harrison dominates the...
Mount Harrison

Thompson Flat Campground:

From Albion, ID, take State Rt. 77 south 5.1 miles to Pomerelle Ski Area/Lake Cleveland sign. Turn right at sign and go 8.5 miles to campground sign. Turn right at sign onto gravel road and go 0.3 miles to campground. is located at 8,400 feet on the road going toward Mount Harrison. There are 20 sites available. Open July 1 through October 15.
 
This pic shows the quality of...
City of Rocks Road

Lake Cleveland Campground:
 
City of Rocks
City of Rocks

From Albion, ID, take State Rt. 77 south 5.1 miles to Pomerelle Ski Area/Lake Cleveland sign. Turn right at sign and go 9.4 miles to campground sign. Turn right before sign and go 0.6 miles to campground. is located at 8,300 feet. There are 31 sites available. Open July 10 through October 15.
 
Thunderstorm activity in...
Afternoon Thunderstorm


City of Rocks Camping:
 
Looking south
Albion Range

Camping and reservation fees for individual sites:

$12.72 per campsite per night (maximum of eight people)
$10.60 reservation fee (total of two vehicles allowed per campsite)
Reservations can be made ahead of time but are not required.
No reservations from October 1st through April 30th. Walk-in only.

Camping and reservation fees for group sites:

$26.50 non-refundable reservation fee (reservations are required for group sites)
$3.18 per person per night (minimum of 17 people)

For more information click on the link to this website


Castle Rocks State Park:

Castle Rocks State Park Campground is open year round. It sits on the slopes of Smoky Mountain. There are restrooms, showers and an RV dump station. There are 38 campsites that offer 30 amp electrical and water service. There are also two yurts available.

Camping and reservation fees for individual sites:

$22.00 per campsite per night (maximum of eight people)
$50.00 per standard yurt per night (maximum of six people)

For more information click on the link to this website


Other Places to Stay:

Castle View RV Campground:

This is the new RV Campground built just outside the City of Rock's boundaries. There are 60 sites.

Old Homestead Bed and Breakfast:

The Old Homestead Bed and Breakfast is located in the town of Almo. The rooms are at a very reasonable cost and a continental breakfast is provided in the room rate. For more information on this lodging you can call 1-208-824-5521


Backcounty Camping Regulations

There is a newly established private campground at City of Rocks. This campground is usually full during peak season. A better option is to look for a campsite on national forest land in the northern boundary. This is allowed and is free.

Camp 1/2 mile from any road, 200 feet from any water source, and 200 feet from any trail.

Camping is allowed for a period of 3 days at an individual site.

Practice leave no trace techniques.




Climbers tackling a route on...
Climbers on Elephant Rock at City of Rocks - by Dean


Peak Lists


The Albion Range reaches above 10,000 feet elevation. Cache Peak is one of the highest peaks in southern Idaho. All of the mountains by their standard routes are class 1-2 hikes with occasional class 3 scrambling. Rock climbing can be found at City of Rocks and Castle Rocks.


Idaho County Highpoints List
This is a great list of Idaho County Highpoints made by SP member SawtoothSean. Cache Peak is the highpoint of Cassia County.

Idaho Prominence Peaks List
This website has information for Idaho Prominence Peaks. There are three prominence peaks in the Albion Range.





ALBION RANGE
MountainElevation (Feet)Summitpost Page
10,000 foot Peaks
Cache Peak10,339Page
9,000 foot Peaks
Mount Independence9,950Page
Mount Harrison9,265Page
"Lake Cleveland Peak"9,033 
8,000 foot Peaks
Graham Peak8,867 
"Castle Rocks Peak"8,770 
"Pomerelle Mountain"8,762 
Connor Ridge8,327 
Elba Peak8,046Page
7,000 foot Peaks
Peak 7,6897,689 
Smoky Mountain7,580 
Thunder Mountain7,455 
Cedar Hills HP7,434 
"South Jim Sage Peak"7,282 
Cotterel Mountains HP7,140 
Peak 7,0967,096 
Peaks below 7,000 feet
Red Rock Mountain6,382 
Pine Knob5,879 
East Hills HP5,825 
Sheep Mountain5,764 




I believe
Mount Harrison in the Albion Range - by imontop




ALBION RANGE MOST PROMINENT PEAKS
MountainElevation (Feet)Ranking in IdahoProminence (Feet)
Cache Peak10,3396th4,459
Elba Peak8,04662st2,341
Mount Harrison9,26569th2,298





ALBION RANGE COUNTY HIGHPOINTS
MountainCountyEasiest Route
Cache PeakCassiaIndependence Lakes TH : Class 2



Books


Idaho: A Climbing Guide: Climbs, Scrambles, and Hikes
By Tom Lopez. The Albion Range is described well in the book. There are three pages about the mountains and trailheads.


External Links


Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center
Current information during winter on avalanches, advisories, and conditions.

City of Rocks National Reserve
This is the National Park Service site on the City of Rocks that has information about visiting the area.

Pomerelle Mountain Resort
Mount Harrison is a huge mountain that receives a lot of snow. On the east side of the mountain is Pomerelle Mountain Resort. It sits at 8,000 feet and is a family resort. You can expect more solitude here than you would at many other resorts. There are 24 groomed ski slopes that are open to both skiing and snowboarding. There are many cross-country skiing trails to choose from. The triple chairlift also operates from July through Labor Day.


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