Idaho Nature February 17, 2018
This Devastatingly Gorgeous Place In Idaho Was Once The Site Of The World’s Most Catastrophic Flood
One of the most catastrophic events occurred right here in Idaho. It’s something every Idahoan was probably taught in school, but many don’t actually realize just how disastrous it was. The Bonneville Flood occurred during the last ice age and is believed to be the second largest flood in known geologic history. A flood that big certainly left its mark. In fact, this one incredibly beautiful area in southern Idaho was the place where it all began. Red Rock Pass is considered to be the starting point of the massive flood. People can visit this incredible place today and view the remnants of one of the world’s most catastrophic floods.
The small town of Downey, Idaho isn't widely recognized. Few people even know this town of 625 people even exists in the southeastern region of our state. However, located in this small community is one of the most unique geologic wonders in the country.
Red Rock Pass is considered to be "the floodgates" of one of the most catastrophic events to occur on our continent. What you see today is a beautiful geologic formation, but the history behind it is what will really blow you away.
During the last ice age era, Lake Bonneville occupied a large portion of northern Utah (32,000 square miles to be exact). 14,500 years ago, the lake was at its highest water level ever. It was here at Red Rock Pass that the lake's water eventually overflowed and caused the disastrous Bonneville Flood.
Many people drive by the area without even noticing it. However, the utter beauty of the rock formations and the vast surroundings strikes you as soon as you begin walking around this amazing landmark.
Geology enthusiasts travel from all over to explore this unique area. It's crazy to think that these are the remnants of one of the greatest forces of nature. The Bonneville Flood was responsible for carving out a majority of what we know as today's southern Idaho and northern Utah. If it weren't for the flood, we wouldn't have epic wonders such as Shoshone Falls or the many other waterfalls that can be found along the Snake River.
Idaho is full of geologic wonders, but this might be the most underrated of them all.
This place is definitely worthy of a stop if you find yourself driving through the area. It can be found off of US 91 from Interstate 15. As you look up at this massive formation, you can imagine the giant wall of water and what it may have looked like when it broke through the mountain and flooded the majority of southern Idaho.
At the pass is a sign erected by The Idaho Historical Society containing some information about the flood.
You can walk up the concrete stairs in the middle of the pass in order to get a good look of the surrounding valley. It's crazy to think that the entire valley was once covered in water. Here you'll also discover a small cemetery dedicated to a fallen Mormon soldier. Although slightly random, it's a good reminder of how much history can be found in our state if you just know where to look for it. Red Rock Pass is a place that should be appreciated by every Idahoan.
Did you know the unique history behind Red Rock Pass? Idaho is full of interesting geologic wonders just waiting to be uncovered. In fact, not many people know about
The Active Volcano That’s Right Here In Idaho.