Castle Rock was threatened by development in the 1990s. That led to a lawsuit where the East End Neighborhood Association, the Fort Hall Shoshone Bannocks, and the Duck Valley Paiutes joined forces to protect the rock formation, which was said to be a sacred Indian burial site. The developer produced archeologists who doubted the veracity of native claims.
Historian Merle Wells produced an Idaho Statesman story from 1893 about the discovery of bones during an excavation near the Idaho State Penitentiary. The article said that “The grewsome (sic) find was no surprise to the old timers of the city, who have known for years that many Indians were, during the early days, buried in the rocks on the hills back of where the penitentiary now stands.”
The lawsuit drug on for six years. To help settle the dispute the City of Boise agreed to purchase the site for $500,000. The East End Neighborhood Association added $75,000 of their own to help with the purchase and pay for landscaping in the area.
As a result, the Castle Rock looks much the same today as it did when those bad apples were distributed.
Trails in the area have been relocated to avoid the most sensitive parts of Castle Rock, which is still regarded as a sacred place by the descendants of the people who were the first residents of the area.