Craters Of The Moon Idaho National Park

My husband and I visited the Craters of the Moon Idaho National Park this year in June. While traveling from Tween Falls, Idaho, we follow the highway 20. Suddenly we noticed that the nice green fields and hills along the Snake river changed without notice into a sea of dark/black ground and rocks.

Dark ground at the Craters of the Moon, as seen from the road

Dark ground at the Craters of the Moon, as seen from the road

I have never seen something like this before and intrigued, I looked at my husband. He smiled. He knew about the existence of this place but admitted that has never seen it before. As we were not in a hurry we decided to visit it and I’m glad we did.

Craters Of The Moon Idaho National Park

Craters of the Moon sign on highway 20

Craters of the Moon sign on highway 20

There is a mix of old and new petrified lava here. At the Visitor Center which is not far from the sign, we learned the oldest known eruption was 15,000 years ago and it’s the part that’s covered with vegetation. The most recent eruption occured 2,000 years ago – that area is the darkest one. Geologists say that future events may likely happen here.

The Visitor Center

The Visitor Center at the Craters of the Moon Idaho National Park is situated 18 miles Southwest of Arco and 20 miles North from Twin Falls, on US 20/26/93.

Craters of the Moon Directions

Craters of the Moon Directions

Visitor Center of the Craters of the Moon National Monument

Visitor Center of the Craters of the Moon National Monument

At the Visitor Center you can have a lot of information and details related to this area, including movies, exhibitions and a bookstore, and it’s open year-round.

Logging and Facilities at Craters Of The Moon Idaho National Park

For who wants to camp here, there are campground facilities with water, restrooms and picnic areas (no hookups), with no reservations. Several other camping areas are available in the park, but they have waterless restrooms. Here you can find more info about the Fees, Passes, Hours of Operation and more.

Tip: As a senior US citizen, my husband has a pass for all the national Parks in US, so we didn’t have to pay any entrance fee.

Crater of the Moon Pictures

Volcanic Rocks thrown up by the force of the eruption

Volcanic Rocks thrown up by the force of the eruption

Huge boulder of dark petrified lava in the middle of the field

Huge boulder of dark petrified lava in the middle of the field

There is not too much vegetation there (I’m wondering why…), other than some sagebrush, moss and a few colorful flowers, but the sightseeing is beautiful

Flowers at the Craters of the Moon

Flowers at the Craters of the Moon

Sightseeing at the Craters of the Moon

Sightseeing at the Craters of the Moon

We explored the zone for a couple of hours, but the whole area is a 750,000 acres of lava formed landscape, you may need more than one day to visit it all. There are many miles of underdeveloped rugged dirt and roads, so a high 4-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

The lava formations are quite impressive and interesting

People climbing a lava/ash formatted hill

People climbing a lava/ash formatted hill

Lava formatted hill covered by some small vegetation

Lava formatted hill covered by some small vegetation

Hills of lava formed after the erruptions

Hills of lava formed after the eruptions

Fields covered by lava at the Craters of the Moon

Fields covered by lava at the Craters of the Moon

We went up to one of the craters. The deep hole into the volcano looks scary, but it’s surrounded by a fence, so no danger to approach the edge

People looking into the volcano crater hole

People looking into the volcano crater hole

The upper edges of the crater

The upper edges of the crater

Pieces of petrified lava as they had frowned from the crater

Pieces of petrified lava as they had frowned from the crater

Solidified lava on the walls of the crater

Solidified lava on the walls of the crater


 

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