Black Magic Canyon
Over the last 10,000 years, the Big Wood River has carved a narrow canyon of exquisite, swirling rock sculptures into surrounding black basalt. The 4-mile section of complex carvings and potholes is one of the best and most beautiful examples of eroded river bedrock in the U.S.
Location | Regional map (2.6 MB PDF)
About 14 miles north of Shoshone, Idaho on Highway 75
Access from secondary paved and graved roads. The formations are best accessed during spring and fall (outside of irrigation season).
For a more adventurous journey through the sculpted lava rock of the Black Magic Canyon, visit the Big Wood River channel to the West of Highway 75 (see map). This is a moderately strenuous hike through a rocky canyon with remote access and limited ingress and egress. Please come prepared with proper clothing, footwear, 4x4 vehicle, and reliable forms of communication. Since the Black Magic Canyon is inaccessible and dangerous when it is full of water during the irrigation season, please contact the Big Wood Canal Company at (208) 886-2331 to find out about water releases before going on your trip.
Polished basalt in Black Magic Canyon | Photography: Peter Oberlindacher, BLM