In the 19th century, fur traders hiking through the Snake River Valley of southeastern Idaho told tales of a place filled with deep, dangerous chasms, strange plants and dark, dramatic rocks – a place they called “hell’s half acre.” In actuality, they weren’t far off.
The scarred landscape was formed 5,500 years ago as red hot lava poured across the land at 30 miles per hour, bubbling up from a deep underground magma dike. Once it receded, the extreme heat (as much as 2000 degrees) left the land pockmarked with striking hills made solely of volcanic material and deep cracks.
Today Interstate 15 south of Twin Falls Idaho passes directly over the easternmost corner, and a rest area has been established that gives visitors access to some of the national landmark’s most striking features.
A great place for geologists and scientific types, as well as a quick pee-pee before you head to Twin Falls.