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Craters of the Moon National Monument

18 miles southwest of Arco, Hwy. 20/26/93, Arco, ID 83213
208-527-1300
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Ranked #1 of 2 Attractions in Arco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Geologic Formations, Monuments/ Statues, Educational Sites, Scenic/ Historic Walking Areas, Parks, National Parks
Activities: Cross-country skiing, Hiking, Camping
Owner description: An ocean of blackened lava flows holds opportunities to relax, explore, and enjoy for all ages and abilities. The monument is an easy day trip from... more » Owner description: An ocean of blackened lava flows holds opportunities to relax, explore, and enjoy for all ages and abilities. The monument is an easy day trip from Boise, Sun Valley, and Idaho Falls. Click on the link below to learn more about this unearthly landscape and start planning your visit today. « less
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311 reviews from our community

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English first
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
14 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014 NEW

It was a long drive from Boise, a good three hours each way, we went out on US 20 which was more scenic, and back on US 26 which was further but took about the same time. We were lucky the weather was not too hot, so hiking was a pleasant experience, and there are plenty of various lengths you... More

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Columbus, OH
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

We stopped here on way to Yellowstone from Salt Lake. These volcanoes erupted 15,000 to 2,000 years ago and left lava in many forms. Powdery mountains, snake-like mounds, sheets and even lava tube caves. Eerie when you stop and listen to the wind. If you've got the time, this is a must-see.

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cincinnati
Top Contributor
249 reviews 249 reviews
60 attraction reviews
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

A very well maintained National Monument very worth visiting. Most of the visitors seemed to "behave" which isn't always the case at such treasures. Small hikes, including one very steep one, were enjoyable and informative. Helpful rangers (like in the good old days). Everyone should visit this Park!

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Rochester, Minnesota
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
68 attraction reviews
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014 NEW

Be sure to stop in at the visitor center and watch the movies. You will see much of the scenery just driving along the Hwy - but the visitor center and the drive from there is worth the time. Even after 2000 years, there are areas where nothing is growing. The different lava configurations are truly amazing.

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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014

This is one of those places where you jaw drops as you enter. The landscape is totally surreal, like being on another planet ( the moon?). Our only complaint is that leashed dogs are not allowed on the trail. We were camping with our dog and would not leave her in the car -- so were unable to take the... More

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Rochester, New York
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
19 attraction reviews
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014

It's easy and instructive to spend a few hours at this well maintained National Monument. I'm not a geology fan, but even I couldn't help learning a few things as we drove the loop road and walked all of the easier trails. The landscape is unique and invites a questioning attitude from the viewer. It might be a bit out... More

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Cheyenne, Wyoming
Top Contributor
291 reviews 291 reviews
224 attraction reviews
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014

This national monument protects old volcanoes, lava flows, and caves that are thousands of years old. The visitor's center is not very big, but still informational. The 7 mile driving tour has many great photo ops, but you need to hike some of the trails to really explore this place. There aren't many trails, but I hiked most of them.... More

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Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
21 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

We decided to visit Craters of the Moon on our bike trip cross country. It is out of the way and in the high desert, but it is an amazing site. Lava flows, cinder cones, and lava tubes all relatively untouched by man or nature as they are in the high desert and relatively young (2000-15000 years old). Impressive place... More

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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

We got a lot more than expected at the Craters of the Moon, and all good. We had three generations, with girls from 6-11. After a stop at the excellent visitor center where we picked up a "cave pass" more as a souvenir than anything else, we started on the paved road. The first couple stops were wonderful photo ops... More

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Edmonds, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

I drove the loop route on this trip. I used to take my Girl Scout troop here when I was living in Idaho Falls. There are caves to explore and many other fascinating features out here. It's not unusual to see pronghorn on the way, and lots of birds.

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