Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument

National Parks • Nature & Wildlife Areas • Geologic Formations
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8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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About
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.
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4.5
1,282 reviews
Excellent
863
Very good
337
Average
65
Poor
8
Terrible
9

mrc282
United States5,353 contributions
Jun 2022 • Solo
I dropped by for a 4h visit at this park while on my way to Grand Teton from Sun Valley. you can spend as little as 1h or as much as 6h here, depending on the number of trails you want to explore.

the landscape is very beautiful. it reminded me of Big Island Hawaii but more scenic as it is dotted with some vegetation. though less exciting since it is not volcanically active.

very limited lodging options nearby so the best is to plan a half day trip while you are driving from point A to B
Written June 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HeavyHiker
Farmingdale, NY197 contributions
Aug 2022
This monument is one of the most unique I have ever seen - and should be seen by everyone. We hiked several trails that were short including Splatter Cone, Snow Cone (yes there was ice still in it), Devils Orchard, Broken Top Trail and the infamous and extremely steep Inferno Cone. We also hiked the cave trail and entered Indian Tunnel. All told we started with boots on the ground at 7:30 am and were on our way out by 1 pm including stops at the visitors center. There are toilets at the visitors center and some of the trail heads. There is no water source on the trials so bring plenty of water. It'll be worth the trip.
Written September 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

milesofsmiles r
Derby82 contributions
Jun 2022
What a fabulous place. I really enjoyed our visit here.
We went in June, even though it is a National Monument there wasn't too many people about and we were able to enjoy some of the hikes without seeing a soul, very peaceful.
The caves were closed when we visited but it didn't matter there was a certain timeless atmosphere about the place I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
We were surprised to see so many wild flowers growing between the lava slabs. Their nodding delicate heads and pastel colors made such a contrast against the black roughness of the lava it was beautiful to see.
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brown_Samantha
Kennewick, WA1,394 contributions
Apr 2021
We left Twins Falls very early in the morning to make our way to Craters of the Moon NM. You can use the GPS but be sure to put in the address to the Visitor's Center. It is worth the stop, get information, very friendly rangers, and most importantly, clean restrooms. Then just use the map and go visit several points of interests - very clearly marked. $20 was the entrance fee if you are without a pass; we decided to buy the annual pass for $80, as we will be using it the next 12 months for other NPS sites.

At the time of out visit, all the caves were closed and 2 areas were blocked off. Just before the loop drive you can see the massive lava flow. It is very much like Hawaii, or Central Oregon. We went down the loop drive to see Devil's Orchard >>> easy to do and paved all the way. Also Snow Cone & Spatter Cone >>> again, very easy to do and paved most of the way. We feel this area is "must do". It is wonderful to see the cinder cones.

This time of the year you can still see snow capped mountain ranges. Very much "Mars" like landscapes. Be sure to go up the crater rim trail, if you are able to. It starts out paved, and after the "rise", it does turn into unpaved.

We're in pretty good physical shape, so that was not an issue. You don't have to complete the trail, even just 15 or 20 minutes up. It really gives you a good look to the huge crater. Such beautiful colors. Totally worth the wind and hike.

We also did part of the Tree Mold trail. Wish we had another hour but we had to be in Boise that day. We spent about nearly 4 hours here. We saw some trailers at the camp site, so there may be overnight camping options. That would be ideal, then you can spend sunrise & sunset here.

Note that this area is pretty isolated. Many stretches of the roads we were without cell phone service. The drive back to Boise is very nice. Idaho has really good roads!
Written April 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jason M
Kenosha, WI884 contributions
Sep 2021 • Solo
If you are looking to spend some time in nature that is somewhat unique, look no further... I have always been intrigued by visiting lava fields and such, so this was a must see for me. This area, while not traditional in the sense, is simply beautiful, majestic, and peaceful. Vast fields of nothing for miles and miles, stillness in the air, and remnants of an era of the past. If you can handle uphill hikes, I'd recommended climbing to the top of the Inferno Cone... For a longer, less strenuous hike, the Tree Mounds Trail is really interesting.
Written November 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Desiree G
32 contributions
Jul 2021
I really loved this place. My favorite thing about it was that, for the most part, it was not crowded (only in certain areas, specifically the Inferno and Spatter Cone area). This national preserve holds what I kept calling a unique beauty. You wouldn’t expect seemingly endless lava rock to be beautiful, but it truly was, especially with the contrast of the green plants. It felt serene and I enjoyed many moments of quiet contemplation in nature. Although even on the more crowded hikes, such as Inferno Cone, when I reached the top I was in such awe that it felt as though I was alone. The wildflowers growing in the rocks were also very beautiful and special.

My recommendations: If you’re there in the summer, start early. It was so much more enjoyable before it got hot. If you are there when it’s hot, the Caves hike is nice because once you reach the caves, it’s nice and cool. For any of the caves other than Indian Tunnel, a flashlight and/or head light is essential.

Highlights: Devil’s Orchard and Inferno Cone
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SCoxygenman
Columbia, SC281 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
I was absolutely amazed at the landscape discovered here. Never seen or experienced anything like it before. Plan for half day here, each trail has a little something different to offer, took a lot of short hikes from the top of inferno cone trail to down into the Indian Tunnels. They have some nice paved pathways out into the lava abyss with some seriously gnarly looking rock formations. It was amazing to pickup a large boulder of the pumice volcano rock which was almost weightless. There is an area driving by with field of these little flowers. Life always finds a way in nature. Make sure you start your day early because as the summer gets warmer those kava trails will get hot outside, take plenty of water. This park is a little out of the way, but it is definitely worth the trip and exceed my expectations.
Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Les J
Murrieta, CA634 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
Visited on a Sunday in late September. Crowds were minimal for this type of attraction. I always enjoy the films provided at the Visitors’ Center. None were playing, possibly due to the COVID restrictions. (We did access them that evening via their website.) Only did one short hike; my wife’s hips are aging, but from what we could see, there are plenty of handicap accessible areas. Very nice campground, but mostly smaller sites. A few might have accommodated our 36’ fifth wheel & F350 4x4, but there is a great private park - reviewed separately - that I highly recommend just a short drive away in Arco.
Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CDub
Bellingham, WA38 contributions
Jun 2020 • Family
Really neat place to visit for a couple of hours. $20 car admission for a look at the various formations left behind by volcanoes going back 15 million years. A little off the beaten path made for an uncrowded visit. We hiked a couple of trails basically all alone.

A real must if you have some geological interest.
Written June 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ericroebuck
Mechanicsville, MD56 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
This Monument was the surprise hit of our recent trip to the northern Rockies. We highly recommend Craters of the Moon and for spending at least a half day here. Take the time to hike some of the easy hikes to the caves, the cinder cones and the loop trail around the big cinder cone. With a little imagination you will feel like a kid again in the park exploring the caves and walking through the lava fields. My wife and I were both really impressed with this national monument and consider it a must see for anyone visiting the Northern Rockies.
Written July 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Craters of the Moon National Monument (Arco) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Craters of the Moon National Monument is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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