Craters of the Moon National Monument is located in central Idaho near the town of Arco. Craters of the Moon is a protected area, and was once the site of a volcanic eruption. When the volcanic eruption occurred, a flood of lava and basalt swept through the area leaving some fascinating geological features. The Craters of the Moon National Monument is one of the best preserved volcanic flood areas of its kind in the world, and was so named because the craters and markings left by the volcanic flood look somewhat like craters on our moon.
Craters of the Moon was established as a monument in May of 1924. In November of the year 2000, the protected area of Craters of the Moon was expanded, and today is managed by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Three lava fields are included as part of the Craters of the Moon National Monument Park, which covers about 618 square miles. Craters of the Moon Idaho is the largest basaltic lava field of its kind in the continental United States, and has over 25 volcanic cones. Various lava flow remains are thought to be as old as 15,000 years old.
If you plan to visit Craters of the Moon Idaho, you should be prepared to do some driving. Most of the area is undeveloped, and there is in fact only one paved road through the northern section of the monument. Perhaps the most popular route for visiting the monument is US Highway 93, which runs through the monument and is also somewhat close to the city of Boise and Yellowstone National Park. The visitor center for Craters of the Moon Idaho is also a bit of a drive, as it is located about 6,000 feet above sea level. A trip to the Craters of the Moon National Monument may be a long drive, but access to the park and visitor center is completely free of charge.
A trip to the Craters of the Moon is a great way to
see one of the more unique aspects of the Idaho landscape.
In contrast to skiing, whitewater
rafting or fly-fishing,
the Craters of the Moon National Monument present a somewhat
stark, yet fascinating view. The protected area
is one of the more unique in the state and in the country.