Idaho location

You’ve Never Heard Of This Remarkable Secret Place In Idaho

Idaho is home to many mysterious and quirky places hidden in plain sight. Over the years, we’ve introduced you to dozens of them: ghost towns, hillsides lined with mysterious numbers, unexplained concrete spiers pointing the way across the state…

There are plenty of “Cool Secret Places” spread across our state, but there’s one in particular that caught the attention of Reader’s Digest. Their travel team set out to find “The coolest secret place in every state.“Before reading the article, we were really expecting one of the places we presented to you on our list of The 10 Most Intriguing and Mysterious Places in Idaho Hidden in Plain Sight to represent our state.

10 of Idaho’s Most Mysterious Places Hidden in Plain Sight

Idaho is full of strange and mysterious places. These are 10 that are quite noticeable if you know where to look!

Idaho’s ‘Coolest Secret Spot’ Revealed

They are all kinda secret “cool” places, so we were shocked when they saw their choice. It’s such a secret place that we’ve never found out the name before. They chose Black Magic Canyon, a slot canyon located north of Shoshone. When you first see images of what lurks in the canyon, you feel like you’ve been transported to a fantasy landscape on a distant planet or some sort of dystopian future. What you are really looking at is a jaw-dropping piece of Idaho geologic history.

According to Visit Southern Idaho, the black basalt walls were originally formed by the Shoshone lava flow. When an eruption occurred at Black Butte Crater, it filled the channel of the Big Wood River and forced the river to find a new way to flow. When this diversion occurred over 10,000 years ago, the river carved out the volcanic rock forming the canyon.

In a video tour of the canyon, geology professor Shawn Willsey explains that the gravel carried by the river was harder than basalt, so when the river water pushed it with force, it broke through the walls, helping to form these incredible formations and potholes.

Water still flows through the canyon today, but not quite the same way. Irrigation water passes through the canyon for a significant portion of the summer. That’s why you should STILL contact the Big Wood Canal Company BEFORE attempt to hike the canyon. If you’re there while the water is being released, you could be trapped in a life-threatening flood. Read this warning again.

This is an adventure best taken in late August, fall or winter months. Visit Southern Idaho has instructions on the best way to access Black Magic Slot Canyon HERE. If you choose to visit the “Coolest Secret Spot” in Idaho, be a good steward of the land and find it better than you find it. Don’t leave trash there. Do not vandalize the rocks. Leave no traces.

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