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Drawing 200,000 annual visitors, the Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve is located in central Idaho – about an hour southeast of Ketchum.
Plan your next trip to the Gem State and be sure to spend a day exploring the grounds at Craters of the Moon NM.
Operated by the National Park Service, the site preserves a volcanic flood basalt area ideal for outdoor recreation. Covering 464,303 acres in the Snake River Plain, the monument features caving, hiking, wildlife viewing, and auto touring.
Volcanic Ruins In The Snake River Plain
Protecting some of the most well-preserved volcanic flood basalts in the U.S., Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve is an ideal destination when traveling through southern Idaho.
Make travel plans for Idaho and head south to the Snake River Plain. From nearby nearby cities like Ketchum and Blackfoot, you'll find easy access to one of the most exceptional attractions in the state – Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve.
Craters of the Moon is most easily accessed from Highway 26, or if you're coming in from Idaho Falls, Highway 20 will be your best bet.
You can explore Craters of the Moon any day of the year, 24 hours a day. During the winter, some access roads see closures due to snow, but you can still hike. The Craters of the Moon Visitor Center opens daily at 8 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m., with extended hours until 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day. There is a small fee to enter Craters of the Moon, but it's per vehicle.
Attractions & Activities
Discover a wide range of wilderness areas, hiking trails, well-preserved volcanic ruins, and plenty more at Craters of the Moon. You'll want plan for a full day of exploration – there's so much to see, an afternoon just isn't going to cut it. You can explore vast amounts of the park on Loop Road, enjoy a tour of the visitor center, or cycle around the Inferno Cone.
Across the 464,303 acres at Craters of the Moon, you'll have plenty of wilderness on which to trek through, caves to explore, and trails to hike. The Caves Trail is a great way to see what Craters of the Moon is all about. You'll hike in and around Beauty Cave, Boy Scout Cave, Dewdrop Cave, and the Indian Tunnel.
The amount of hiking you can do at Craters of the Moon might require a second, third, and fourth visit. The North Crater Trail is 3.5 miles round trip and yields unmatched views of the North Crater. You'll hike through the crater mouth, and eventually descend into the Spatter Cones area.
Plan a winter visit to Craters of the Moon and enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Snowshoers will have a blast at the 1.5-mile Snowshoe Loop Trail, with Snowshoe Walks scheduled for January and February. The X-Country Ski Trail is 6.2 miles of groomed cross-country skiing landscape.