Celebration Park

Idaho's first archaeological park!



Petroglyphs in Idaho!

Celebration Park is less than an hour from Boise, near Walter's Ferry and Melba. It is part of the Western Heritage Historic Byway, which includes Swan Falls Dam, Snake River Canyon Overlook, Dedication Point, Initial Point, Silver Trail, Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Pioneer Cemetary, and Historic Kuna.

The park was established in 1989 as Idaho's only archaeological park. It is next to the Snake River and an easy daytrip from anywhere in the Treasure Valley. Bring your kids and look for petroglyphs that are from 100 to 10,000 years old, as you walk through basalt boulders left by the Bonneville flood. Take a walking tour and also learn about early mining and railroad history in Idaho. A walking trail on the north side of the Snake River will take you to Halverson Lake, a small lake next to the canyon walls. A number of other walking trails (non-motorized - horses allowed) wind through boulders from the Bonneville flood and join together to provide access to Swan Falls Dam, approximately 10 miles upstream from Celebration Park. About halfway to the dam, motorized use is allowed.


On the downstream side of Celebration Park is Guffey Bridge, one of the few places to cross the Snake River. Once a railroad bridge, this restored bridge from 1897 provides non-motorized access to trails on the south side of the Snake River.

Celebration Park is on the western border of Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


The Snake River Islands near Celebration Park are part of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge’s Snake River Islands Unit. Their website provides information about rules and regulations plus habitat management practices for the area.



Getting There

From Boise:

Drive west on I-84. Take the Meridian-Kuna exit. Turn left onto S Meridian Rd. Continue on E Avalon St. into Kuna. Turn left on Swan Falls Rd. Turn right onto Victory Ln. Continue to Warren Spur Rd. Turn left onto Sinker Rd. Then turn left at Historic Guffey Railroad Bridge.

From Nampa/Caldwell:

Drive south on ID-45 S/12th Ave Rd. Turn left on Ferry Rd. Turn right on Hill Rd. Turn right on Sinker Rd. Then turn left at the Historic Guffey Railroad Bridge.

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: 43.3, -116.5286111

STARTING POINT: Boise (for our daytrip)

DISTANCE FROM STARTING POINT: Approximately 38 miles (one way from Boise)

TIME TO REACH: Approximately 50 minutes (one way)

ROAD SURFACE: Paved to the park

WHEN ACCESSIBLE: Year round, 24/7, for day use and camping. Visitor Center is open daily (except holidays) from 10AM to 2PM

FEES:

  • Day use: $2 per vehicle

  • Camping: $5 per night (3-day limit within 30-day period); first-come, first-served.

  • Season pass: $15, Seniors: $5; available in visitor center, 10AM to 2PM

  • County-operated park, so not able to accept Idaho State Parks Passports.

  • Day use and camping fees payable by envelopes in fee boxes (one at south border of main parking lot; one west of the Visitor Center, one at entrance to East End Campground

RECOMMENDED VEHICLES: Any vehicle

PET FRIENDLY: Yes, but must be on leash if outside vehicle

WHEN WE WENT: Early fall

TRAILHEADS: Hiking trails are throughout the area. See story above and also visit Idaho-Oregon Snake River Water Trail, where Celebration Park is described as one of the access sites.

CAMPGROUNDS:

  • 3-day limit within 30-day period

  • No electricity or RV hookups.

  • Potable drinking water is available outside the Visitor Center.

  • Visitor Center restrooms are open 24/7.

SITE CONTACT INFO:

Celebration Park is a Canyon County Park. More information about educational tours and school field trips can be found on the Canyon County website, where you will also find information about other Canyon County parks.

CAUTIONS: Archaeological sites are protected by state and federal law. Please be respectful of Celebration Park’s unique archaeology and cultural heritage. Also, please be respectful of school groups and other guided tours.


I'm Here - Now What?

  • Tours:

  • Free guided tours available during Visitor Center hours, 10 AM-2 PM

  • Petroglyph tours

  • Lessons on the atlatl range (What is an atlatl?)

  • Other interpretive programs about the cultural and natural history of the Snake River Canyon

  • Weekends: Check in at the Visitor Center to schedule a tour and discuss program options. You do not need to call ahead to reserve weekend tours, unless your group contains 20 people or more.

  • Monday-Friday: Call in advance (208-455-6022) or email parksprograms@canyoncounty.id.gov to schedule a tour and discuss program options. Walk-in tour requests will be accommodated as staffing allows.

  • Photography

  • Wildlife and plant viewing

  • Camping - 3-day limit within 30-day period; first-come, first-served

  • Picnicking - Picnic tables are available for day use and camping, on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Hiking

  • Biking

  • Horseback riding

  • Fishing - for fishing regulations, please see https.//idfg.idaho.gov.

  • Boating

  • Rafting/floating

  • Geocaching

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