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Peeking out of the sagebrush across the Snake River Plain is scattered evidence of the region’s volcanic history: black lava basalt. You may not notice this geological wonder at first glance — the region is relatively flat with some rolling hills and the occasional canyon. But a closer look unveils hints of what lies beneath the entire region.

Each year, water flows from the surrounding mountains into the Big Wood River and down into the Snake River Plain’s Magic Reservoir. From there, much of the water is directed to canals that feed the region’s vital agricultural industry. When this happens, areas of the Big Wood River completely dry up — and geological formations that are usually hidden underwater become accessible. Black Magic Canyon is one of these places, and offers a great adventure for those who set out to find it.

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