City of Rocks
The City of Rocks (managed by the National Park Service) gets its name from the grotesquely eroded granite formations of sheer cliffs and pinnacles towering up as much as 60 stories above the valley floor. Many emigrants following the California Trail wrote their names in axle grease on these rocks.
But the area is not totally barren: an extensive stand of pinyon pine, juniper and mountain mahogany is mixed with occasional aspen and whitebark pine. There are songbirds – the pinyon and scrub jay, green-tailed towhee, Virginia's warbler, mountain bluebird, Clark's nutcracker, and Townsend's solitaire – as well as turkeys, prairie falcon, burrowing owl, poor-will, Say's phoebe, white-throated swift, black-chinned hummingbird, house, canyon, and rock wrens, common bushtit, gray flycatcher, plain titmouse, and red-naped sapsucker.
This site is world-renowned for its challenging rock climbing. Roads are typically closed by snow from December 1 through March.