Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve

Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve

Quick Facts

Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve

Idaho

(208) 527-3257

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

A sea of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush describes this "weird and scenic landscape" known as Craters of the Moon. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve contains three major lava fields covering almost half a million acres and a quarter million acres of sagebrush steppe grasslands. The rugged landscape remains remote and largely undeveloped. Traditional livestock grazing continues within the grass/shrublands administered by Bureau of Land Management. The Craters of the Moon lava field spreads across 618 square miles and is the largest young basaltic lava field in the lower 48 states. Sixty distinct lava flows form the Craters of the Moon lava field ranging in age from 15,000 to just 2,000 years old. This lava field contains more than 25 volcanic cones including several outstanding examples of spatter cones. The Kings Bowl and Wapi lava fields, both about 2,200 years old, are located on the southern edge of the Snake River Plain. All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift, displaying some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world. There are extensive examples of pahoehoe, slabby pahoehoe, shelly pahoehoe, spiny pahoehoe, aa, and block lava, as well as rafted blocks, tree molds, lava tubes, and many other volcanic features. Established by Presidential proclamation in 1924, Craters of the Moon National Monument has been enlarged by additional proclamations. The most recent additions to Monument (2000) were designated as a National Preserve in August 2002.

Map of Craters Of The Moon

Latitude, Longitude: 43.466874, -113.549194

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Bicycling is allowed in designated areas in the park.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Park roads take you past beautiful scenery and roadside displays.

  • Camping

    Backcountry, minimum impact camping is allowed in the wilderness area.

  • Hiking

    There are hiking trails for visitors of all hiking levels.

  • Hunting

    Hunting allowed in the preserve but not the monument. Contact the park office for details.

  • Picnicking

    There are many great picnicking sites within the park.

  • Winter Sports

    In the winter, visitors enjoy skiing and snowshoeing.

Park Partners

Craters of the Moon Natural History Association

The Craters of the Moon Natural History Association is a private nonprofit organization established in 1959. Their mission is to assist their National Park Service partners with interpretive, educational, and scientific activities at Craters of the Moon National Monument, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and Minidoka National Historic Site. Through the operation of two retail stores, an online store, and membership dues, the NHA provides much needed funds for these activities.

(208) 527-1360

Directions

Driving

18 miles southwest of Arco, Idaho on Highway 20/26/93, 24 miles northeast of Carey, Idaho on Highway 20/26/93, 84 miles from Idaho Falls, and 90 miles from Twin Falls.

Flying

Nearest airports are located in Hailey, Idaho (60 miles), Idaho Falls, Idaho (84 miles), and Twin Falls, Idaho (90 miles).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(208) 527-3257

Links