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!
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. So the surprise was some how for both of us 🙂 As we were not in a hurry we decided to visit it and I’m glad we did.
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 occurred 2,000 years ago – that area is the darkest one. Geologists say that future events may likely happen here.
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.
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.
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 water-less 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.
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
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. Warning: There are many miles of underdeveloped rugged dirt and roads; If you have a a high 4-wheel-drive vehicle you are good.
We went up to one of the craters. The deep hole into the volcano looks scary, but you don’t have to worry! The fence that surrounds it makes it safe, so no danger to approach the edge.