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National Park Service acquires 105 acres of land adjacent to City of Rocks National Reserve

Dec. 4, 2022 Updated Sun., Dec. 4, 2022 at 8:58 p.m.

By Lorien Nettleton Twin Falls Times-News

ALMO, Idaho – The National Park Service last week announced the acquisition of approximately 105 acres of land adjacent to the City of Rocks National Reserve, known as the Graham Creek Canyon property.

The property consists of approximately 100 acres in Graham Canyon that features impressive granite outcrops such as Train Rock, beautiful aspen groves, Graham Creek and overwintering locations for moose.

The purchase also includes about 5 acres of access easement, that will allow for the construction of a new public access road to the property.

In addition to the Park Service’s purchase, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is purchasing approximately 260 acres adjacent to Graham Creek Canyon property.

The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit, secured and is currently holding the property that IDPR will purchase. The entire partnership purchase will result in a total of 365 acres of new public recreational access in Graham Canyon.

“This purchase has been an excellent example of federal and state agencies, The Conservation Fund, and private landowners coming together to preserve an area of unique beauty and natural and cultural resources,” said Tara McClure-Cannon, acting superintendent of City of Rocks National Reserve. “This purchase also establishes new recreational access for the public in southern Idaho. The public can start enjoying the property immediately ; however, the new access road isn’t slated to be built until summer 2023. Those looking to experience the new property will be able to hike in along the proposed access easement from the county road on the east side or hike in from Indian Grove.”

City of Rocks National Reserve was created in November 1988, under the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act of 1988. With this recent acquisition, the reserve now consists of 10,127 acres of federal lands, 3,745 acres of private lands and 640 acres of state park land for a total of 14,512 acres. Visitors are encouraged to check in with the visitor center where they can obtain a map of the property if they are planning to visit the Graham Creek Canyon area this winter. If conditions are right, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing may be options in coming months.

The City of Rocks receives over 120,000 visits annually.

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