This deep, basalt canyon was formed similar to Malad Gorge - by a retreating cataract, a huge waterfall. About four million years ago, local volcanoes spewed enormous amounts of lava over the area. Then, about one million years ago, runoff from rain and melt water from a nearby glacier flowed over the area. Following zones of weakness in the fractured volcanic rock, the forceful water formed this canyon. The great Bonneville Flood of 15,000 years ago and other major floods also contributed to the formation of canyons such as this along the Snake River.
The Hagerman Valley
Spreading below the steep canyon walls of Malad Gorge State Park along the Snake River lies the beautiful Hagerman Valley. Approximately 20 miles long and from 1/4 to 4 miles wide, the valley features outstanding free flowing springs from the Snake River Aquifer. With mild winters and clean, abundant water, the Hagerman Valley is home to many fish hatcheries and commercial trout farms.