Tea Kettle Trail is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Oakley, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, horses, and mountain biking and is best used from April until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length5.1 miElevation gain744 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo dogs
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Reviews (7)
Photos (21)
Recordings (5)
Completed (10)
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Angee Jensen
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Hiking
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Rikeem Sholes
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Hiking
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Mary O'Malley
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Hiking

Thoroughly enjoyed City of Rocks. The drive there was beautiful and the park memorable. Make a point to visit Register Rock to step back in time and note the signatures from visitors traveling on the California Trail during the 19th century. The Tea Kettle trail takes hikers through a variety of terrain, and may allow visits with local cows. It is very sunny with little shade except for a small Aspen glade. Segments of the trail are covered in dried grass and cacti are near the path so some alertness is needed while enjoying the beautiful scenery. The only drawback (besides the not terrific trail maps referenced by Dana Egreczky) was the road around the park, which was not paved. Recommend driving a sturdy car with good clearance. Another point of interest: Apparently most of the visitors to the park come for rock climbing. As a non-climber, it was fascinating to watch the climbers ad partners navigate the steep rocks I viewed as interesting scenery.

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Dana Egreczky
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Hiking
First to Review

First, know that the drive to City of Rocks National Reserve is special and worth the ride even without going into the park. Travelers will be in and see a vast rolling valley of various green hues surrounded by and sprinkled with large ridges/mounds of (mostly dark) volcanic rock. Picturesque farms with red barns, pastures, and concentric lines of plowed fields offer images normally seen only in art galleries. Traffic is non-existent. We pulled over several times whenever we wanted to take pictures. The folks at the Visitor Center were friendly and helpful. BUT, the free park map, which provides road details for both City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rock State Park (neighbors that share common boundaries and ranger staff) does not have trail details. To get detailed trail information, visitors need to pay a very reasonable $2.00 for an additional map. Knowing nothing about the park, going back and forth between the two maps was challenging at first. We had to take some time to figure out how the information on the road map correlated to the information on the hiking map, and as a result, our first excursion on a trail was not on the trail we thought we were hiking. After some additional reconnoitering, we started hiking the Tea Kettle Trail, which is behind Elephant Rock. It was worth the effort. After passing through a secured gate (we just needed to remove/replace a chain), we walked for several miles uphill and finally reached the maximum trail altitude (just under 7,000 feet). By then, we were in an alpine forest of pines and aspen. During the hike, we passed a few notable rock formations (Nematode, Bath Rock). At one point, the trail makes a right turn as the land ahead is privately owned. We had lots of company from a set of grazing cows. Had we continued, we would have also seen Tea Kettle Spring, Bath Rock, and a number of other formations, but we ran out of time and had to move on. This is a thoroughly beautiful trail in a great park and we can't wait to return!

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Mark Gones
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Desea ML
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Alyssa Pesce
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