Ancient Petroglyphs, Celebration Park

Photo Courtesy of Canyon County Parks

If prehistoric rock carvings, an ancient indigenous spear-throwing range or pristine riverside scenery interest you, visit Celebration Park. Located only an hour drive southwest of Boise, it can be an easy day trip, but it would take at least a weekend to explore all the park has to offer.

Idaho’s only archeological park is host to numerous attractions ideal for the fall, ranging from hiking, mountain biking and fishing, but the park’s main attraction is the petroglyphs―rock drawings left on the basalt boulders scattered about the basin of prehistoric Lake Bonneville. Some of the drawings are estimated to be more than 10,000 years old.

The park’s visitor’s center offers guided educational tours of the area and its environmental, indigenous and railroad and mining history. If you prefer to go on your own, be sure to check out nearby Guffey Railroad Bridge, a rails-to-trails route for hiking and biking. As you explore, keep an eye out for western fence lizards basking on the sun-warmed basalt and golden eagles scanning the sagebrush below for a quick meal. Above all, don’t miss the chance to throw a spear with an atlatl―man’s first machine―at the only atlatl range in the western United States.

If you spend more than a day, tent camping is available in the park, and lodging is available in nearby Boise. To learn more about Celebration Park’s attractions, visit canyonco.org/project/celebration-park. To find out more about travel in Southwest Idaho, go to visitsouthwestidaho.org.