When most people think of Idaho, they think of potatoes. But folks—we’re here to tell you that this place also holds plenty of majestic rocks.

And not to get too punny, but Idaho truly has some of the most exquisite rock areas—including the City of Rocks and Castle Rock State Park; located just outside the small (and we mean, really small) town of Almo.

Castle Rock State Park

A view of Castle Rock State Park. Photo: Dave Burleson

The area not only serves as a mecca for high quality, moderate trad climbing, but also as a treasured spot for granite bouldering and mind-testing sport climbing. The place bears plenty of history as well. During the 60s and 70s, City of Rocks in particular, stood as a premier destination for the establishment of some of the hardest trad climbs in the world at that time. In other words, old school crushers were strapping on their try hard and putting up some incredibly challenging, and by today’s standards, wildly sandbagged lines.

2015 IMF

Photo: Micah Ness of silverlinefilm.com

Natalie Siddique climbing

Natalie Siddique simul-climbing up Big Time at Castle Rock. Photo: David Burleson

For the last four years, this quaint, rock-centric town has served as the home to the Idaho Mountain Festival —an event that brings together a tight-knit community of lifestyle climbers and trail running enthusiasts. Since 2012, attendance for this all-inclusive festival (free camping, food, workshops, and more!) has more than doubled. The 2015 gathering that recently concluded delivered no shortage of incredible climbing, celebrations, meals, workshops, prizes, and entertainment.

2015 IMF

Tent City. Photo: Micah Ness of www.silverlinefilm.com

Whether you were there to test yourself on a new project, run amidst beautiful rock formations during the 10K Trail Run, or practice yoga alongside Tent City (the communal camping area in Castle Rock State Park)—your days were filled with ample activity and excitement.

2015 IMF

Climbers enjoying the short commute to Castle Rock from Tent City. Photo: Micah Ness of silverlinefilm.com

Photo Michael Gibson

Boulderers, bouldering. Photo: Michael Gibson

2015 Idaho Mountain Festival

Morning yoga taking place next to Tent City. Photo: Mary Buton

2015 IMF

A very stoked prize winner.

Event-goers had the unique opportunity to catch the first and only showing of the REEL ROCK 10 film in all of Idaho … all while snuggled under blankets and enjoying beers under the night stars. At the intermission of the film, attendees collected over $5,500 worth of prizes during the Table O’ Swag Raffle and the daily Evening Shenanigans—and we’re talking free ropes, helmets, cams, and other sweet gear.

On other evenings, climbers Colton Edson (Asana athlete) and Scott Bennett (Edelweiss athlete) presented slideshows of their recent climbing feats and experiences. During morning workshops, Carrie Cooper (La Sportiva athlete), Scott Bennett, and the Asana athlete team conducted Off-Rock Workshops, which covered a host of topics spanning a range of climbing style focuses.

The 2015 Idaho Mountain Festival also held a Poker Ride/Hike/Run that covered a 6-mile course, as well as a City Slicker Contest that gave festival goers a chance to battle against other attendees in tackling a long list of climbing-related challenges in the area

Eli Kerr 2015 IMF

Eli Kerr celebrating the view atop a climb. Photo: David Burleson

Next year will be the Idaho Mountain Festival’s 5th anniversary, and event organizer Ben Eaton has assured us that new, exciting attractions will be unveiled for the big milestone.

Ben shares a bit about what makes the IMF such a special climbing gathering:

So don’t miss out on the fun next year, and join us along with over 350 climbers from all over the country, at the not-to-be-missed 2016 Idaho Mountain Festival!

To see more of the action from this year’s festival, check out the #idmtnfest hashtag on Instagram.