3592 N. Park Lane,
American Falls, ID 83211
of Death and Devil's Gate were names given to this area during the Oregon
Trail period. These names referred to a narrow break in the rocks through
which the trail passed. Emigrants apparently feared that Indians might
be waiting in ambush. Diaries record a series of skirmishes between the
Shoshone Indians and emigrants on August 9 and 10, 1862. Ten emigrants
died in the fight, which involved four wagon trains. The skirmishes took
place east of the park and not at Devil’s Gate as commonly believed. Some
confrontations may have occurred there, but they remain unverified.
Oregon Trail remnants are most easily seen from highway rest areas in either end of the park.
For additional information on the Oregon Trail visit the Three
Island Crossing State Park page and the Oregon/California
Trail Center website.
Oregon Trail pioneers used this area as a rest stop for years. Today we
horse owners to water and rest their animals in the corral at Register
Rock. Many emigrant names are inscribed on the large rock, which is now
protected by a weather shelter. A scenic picnic area surrounds the
rock, creating a desert oasis for the modern traveler.
The site also includes a horse rest area for highway travelers.
park is rich in geological history. Volcanic evidence is everywhere.
The Devil's Gate Pass is all that remains of an extinct volcano.
Bonneville Flood shaped the landscape of the area, rolling and
polishing the huge boulders found throughout the park. The flood was
caused when eroding waters broke through Red Rock Pass near the
Idaho/Utah border. Lake Bonneville, which covered much of what is today
the state of Utah, surged through the pass and along the channel of the
Snake River in a few short months. For a time, the flow was four times
that of the Amazon River. It was the second largest flood in the
geologic history of the world.
Plants and Animals
Rocks State Park is a favorite for birdwatchers. Over 200 species of
birds have been sighted in the park. Canada geese, grebes, bald eagles,
pelicans and blue herons are often seen. Mammals include the
cottontail, jack rabbit, coyote, muskrat and beaver. The desert
environment produces about 300 species of plants in the park. The most
common are sagebrush, Utah juniper and rabbit brush.
You can RV, tent camp or rent
a cabin at
Location: 10 miles west of American Falls, (off
for more information: