Craters of the Moon National Monument

When I started researching for our Idaho trip one of the first things I checked was if there were any National Parks or National Monuments in the state. There are not any National Parks in Idaho. But there is Craters of the Moon National Monument, which in my opinion was just as good as a national park!

This is a really neat park because there are a bunch of lava tube caves that you can go down into and explore. Which we love to do!

The lava fields here extend for hundreds of miles and have been left largely undisturbed since there is only one developed road through the park.

The park has lava fields and volcanic cones that you can see. We enjoyed doing some small hikes and exploring this weird area. It is said to look like the craters that are on the moon, and that is how it got this name.

This place was perfect for me since I love volcanoes so much. It was neat to see how many features still remain there from volcanic activity that occurred thousands of years ago.

We were excited to hike and explore but at the same time we were trying to be cautious. We were climbing Mt. Borah the very next day, so we didn’t want to take any chances on possibly getting hurt or even making ourselves sore for the next day!

So neat to see all of the different shapes the cooled lava has formed into. Definitely have to be careful around here because volcanic rock is super sharp. I remember how cut up my dad got when he fell on the volcanic rock while we were hiking around on top of a volcano in Guatemala.

A little bit of vegetation has taken a hold here but not a whole lot grows. I can imagine the weather here is pretty extreme.

We decided to hike up this cinder cone formation. It was a short but steep trail up, but definitely worth it have a viewpoint of the whole park.

Getting ready to head up and already VERY hot and sweaty!

Volcanic rock! I so badly wanted to take some home with me. But I never would because you are not supposed to and plus I have so much respect for preserving these federal lands and beautiful places.

At the top looking out over the whole area.

Our next hike was up this area. I’m pretty sure from my memory (and a little help from wikipedia) that this is called a spatter cone.

It was a little bit tight to get through up there!

Looking down into the crater.

Looking back at where we went and at the numerous other cones that are in the area.

We were surprised by how much we enjoyed this park and how many different things there were to do and see. Plus it just seemed so random right there in Idaho.

We decided to go into another lave tube cave before we headed out. Thank goodness it was much cooler in the caves and a needed relief from the heat of the day!

After caving selfie! Can you tell it was hot that day?!

Craters of the Moon was obviously worth the stop. It should definitely be any Top 5 or Top 10 lists of things to see or do in Idaho.

 

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