Mountains to the north of town, just a 35 mile drive, offer to local folk or to those traveling through a place to enjoy the beauty of nature as it has been created. Fresh clean mountain air enhances the lives of those who enjoy the excellent camping areas available in the mountains outside of Gooding.
….a skiier’s wonderland
Dream on, all those who love to ski but cannot afford the expense of a luxurious winter recreational area. Gooding residents have it all…a small-town easy going country style life, or within easy reach is a life of fantastic thrill and festivities. Just miles away are some of the world’s most famous winter ski resorts – Sun Valley, not far from there is Soldier Mountain, plus the Pomerelle Ski area near Burley.
Flat lands around the valley add to the attractiveness of both the snowmobile and cross country skiing.
Thorn Creek Reservoir – Small reservoir suitable for non-motorized watercraft, for trout fishing. Often excellent bird-watching in spring. Proceed north on Highway 46 from Gooding until the signed turnoff for Thorn Creek Reservoir. • Semi-developed campsite with vault toilet and picnic tables • Spring and summer are the best times; the water level becomes quite low by late-summer • No drinking water • 14-day camping limit; no fees
Dog Creek Resevoir – Small reservoir northwest of Gooding on Highway 46. The latitude and longitude coordinates for this reservoir are 43.0249, -114.7442 and the altitude is 3609 feet (1100 meters). Good catfishing most of the year. Trout and blue gill are plentiful. Usually very quiet. A good place to relax, fish and enjoy.
Gooding County, Idaho is home to a total of 15 lakes, arranged alphabetically below. If you are considering fishing in Gooding County, Idaho, get more information by clicking on any lake in the list below. Bray Lake (Davis Mountain SW area) Clear Lake (Thousand Springs area) Clear Lakes (Thousand Springs area) Dog Creek Reservoir (Thorn Creek SW area) Last Chance Reservoir (Bliss area) Lye Lake (Davis Mountain SW area) Open Crossing Reservoir (Gooding Butte area) Pioneer Reservoir (Ticeska area) Rattler Reservoir (Davis Mountain SW area) Rocky Reservoir (Gooding Butte area) Sliman Reservoir (Tunupa area) Tea Kettle Reservoir (Gooding Butte area) Turkey Lake (Thorn Creek SW area) Upper Salmon Falls Reservoir (Hagerman area) Walker Waterhole (Gooding Butte area)
….points of interest
Gooding’s Little City of Rocks – Gooding City of Rocks consists of a type of rock (tuff) crea ted by an ancient volcanic ash-fall. Freeze-thaw erosion processes create monoliths rising from the desert floor north of Gooding. The eerie, wind-carved formations, called “hoodoos”, are frequently covered with bright green lichens. The Gooding Little City of Rocks has landscapes of exotic geological formations and numerous hiking trails; some trails are obvious, others have to searched for. The main trail can be hiked easily in a few hours by healthy persons. Side trails can add considerably to that time, but can also lead you to some magnificent views that few others see; including the possiblity of discovering petroglyphs hidden in some of the side canyons.
Hoodoos, arches, mushroom caps and tuffs dominate the many canyons of this unusual location. The canyons are home to a number of different wildlife; including grouse, raptors, deer, and elk; not to mention the ever present coyote.
Primitive camping is permitted, but if you brought it with you, be sure to take it when you leave.
The road up to the earthen dam is private property and the owner has it posted as closed when wet. The owner, at his discretion, may lock the gate if vehicles are seen in the area when the roads are wet. Otherwise, most vehicles should have little trouble making the 1 mile trip into the parking area.
Remember, as always, when in desert country during the early spring through the fall months to be careful where you step or stick your hands. Although Gooding is only about 20 minutes away, it can take a long time to get aid to someone. Be sure to take plenty of water, esp ecially during the warmer months.
The coordinates will take you to the earthen dam and the entrance into the main canyon. Turn off Hwy 46 at: N43 06.391 W114 40.274 to reach the trailhead. Don’t forget your camera! http://www.visitidaho.org/attraction/natural-attractions/gooding-city-of-rocks/
Dead Horse Cave – To reach this cave, go north of Gooding, ID on Hwy 46 to E1400S, then west to 1600E, then north approx. 1/2 mile to Dead Horse Cave Road on left across cattleguard. Follow Dead Horse Cave Road to the cave site. Access this cave easily.
McKinney Butte Lava Tubes – Take Hwy 46 north of Gooding, ID to E1400S, turn left to 1600E, then north approx. 1/2 mile to Dead Horse Cave Road on the left across the cattleguard. Follow Dead Horse Cave Road to a “Y” in the road. Take the right branch of the road for approx. 1/4 mile to the first lava tube entrance. There are several entrances to these tubes in the area if you feel up to exploring to find them. A second entrance to this tube is located at: N43 01.066 W114 50.079. This entrance, however, has been gated to prevent entrance at this location by the BLM.
Spider Cave – No directions available. Fact: length is .451 miles depth is 46 feet
…...other points of interest
Thousand Spring Scenic Byway – South Central Idaho geography is the result of huge prehistoric cataclysmic forces resulting in the breathtaking Snake River Canyon. For 67 miles, the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway provides a glimpse into this remarkable geology, history, and a nostalgic rural lifestyle. The byway begins on US-30 just after leaving I-84 at Bliss. Quickly the byway drops into the huge Snake River Canyon, providing a grand entrance and vista to the country ahead. As the byway meanders south, the visitor discovers “melon” boulders, Hagerman horses, the Devil’s Washbowl, wind farms, country towns, historic places, fish hatcheries, and wildlife habitats, and the recreation of your choice.
Malad Gorge – The Malad River Canyon is 250 feet deep and 2.5 miles long. At Malad Gorge State Park, located right off Interstate 84 Exit 147, you can view the canyon and walk along the rim. The highway crosses over Malad Gorge, but the angle of view hides the deep gorge where the river cascades into Devil’s Washbowl. Views of the gorge are best from the slender-but-sturdy bridge that arcs across the canyon. You can take a short hike to discover nearby fingers of the gorge where crystal clear springs produce ponds and streams. From the footbridge photographers delight in watching the interplay of light and shadows that consistently change the character of the craggy cliffs.
Most of the history at this park is on the geologic scale. The cracks and folds of rock along the canyon cliffs record the movements of earth, lava and water. The shorter history of humans in the area starts with the Indians, who piled rocks along the rim to capture bison and other game animals. The historic Kelton Trail runs through the park, providing Western-history buffs with excellent wagon ruts and traces of the Kelton Stage Stop. http://www.visitidaho.org/attraction/parks/malad-gorge-unit-thousand-springs-state-park/
Niagra Springs - Tumbling down the canyon side at 250 cubic feet per second, Niagara Springs is a sight you won’t soon forget. The churning, icy blue glacial water is a National Natural Landmark and part of the world-famous Thousand Springs complex along the Snake River. The park provides a great opportunity to drive into the 350-foot-deep Snake River Canyon, but be cautious. The road is narrow and steep and not recommended for either motorhomes or large trailers. Once inside the canyon, you’ll find year-round fishing in Crystal Springs Lake, including a handicap accessible site. Waterfowl and other wildlife are abundant. I-84, exit 157 http://www.visitidaho.org/attraction/parks/niagara-springs-unit-thousand-springs-state-park/
Box Canyon – crystal-clear water and a 20-foot waterfall are highlights of the 350-acre Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve near Twin Falls, site of the 11th largest spring in North America. Here 180,000 gallons of water per minute pour into the Snake River. Still in development as a state park, it is co-managed by The Nature Conservancy and the State of Idaho. Access is limited for the near future. Contact Malad Gorge State Park if you are interested in visiting the area. Some of the activities in this area include hiking, fishing, and biking. Exit 155 at Wendell, go 3.2 mi. to 1500 East Road, then S. 4.5 mi. to parking lot on right http://www.visitidaho.org/attraction/parks/niagara-springs-unit-thousand-springs-state-park/
Thousand Springs – Witness some of the most spectacular water displays on a tour of Thousand Springs. Watch as some springs thought to be the re-emergence of the Big Lost River erupt from rocky canyon walls and gush to the river below, and others bubble up from deep within the river bed creating an inviting crystal blue pool of water. The tour provides a unique way to drink in the majestic beauty of the Snake River Canyon. The Nature Conservancy protects 420 acres here, and has a headquarters at the historic homestead of Minnie Miller. Call 208 536-6797 for more information about the homestead. http://www.visitidaho.org/attraction/waterfall/thousand-springs/
Magic Reservoir – This popular site for fishing, boating, water skiing and ice fishing offers semi-developed camping. Nearby commercial facilities offer a range of accommodations and developed campgrounds with RV services. Located about 18 miles north of Shoshone on Highway 75, and 5 miles southwest of the Highway 75/Highway 20 intersection. • Nine semi-developed recreation sites with vault toilets, picnic tables and boat access • No drinking water • 14-day camping limit