Black Magic Canyon


Idaho's Black Magic Canyon.

Idaho’s Black Magic Canyon.

Far off of the beaten path, yet not that far away from paved roads lies a hidden gem in central Idaho, Black Magic Canyon. The canyon itself is small when measured by depth, but runs for several miles across the high desert and holds a wealth of beauty. A wonderful world of finely sculpted black basalt awaits intrepid visitors and once you find your way in, the exploration is easy and the sites addictive.

There is no easy way to find the canyon itself. There are no signs, so I suggest using the map supplied by the Bureau of Land Management as your starting point along with a current atlas of Idaho roads. When the road comes to a fork (350 E and 820 N), the more developed path turns sharply left. You will go down a slight hill to the right and cross a cattle guard. If you see a canal to your right and a shot up sign warning you not to take any rocks off of BLM land you are on the right path. Go about two miles down this dirt road and stop at the small diversion dam on your right. The road is fine for most cars and trucks, but beware of muddy conditions if there have been recent rains.

Wash basin hiding in the canyon.

Wash basin hiding in the canyon.

There’s noting much left to write about this canyon as it is best enjoyed visually. The Big Wood River has been hard at work carving out the beautiful formations throughout the canyon, so bring your camera and plenty of batteries. This area is dog friendly, but small dogs may have to be carried through some parts of the canyon. There can be water flowing through the canyon in the summer and it fills with snow and ice in the winter, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.

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There is some color in the canyon, but most of the views are subtle blacks and greys.

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The canyon is easy to follow, but it may require some bouldering to get around larger rocks.

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A Zen moment in the canyon.

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The entrances into this shallow canyon only hint at the wonders ahead.

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