Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve

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

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).