Craters of the Moon is the result of multiple eruptions that have formed an array of lava tubes, cinder cones, and volcanoes. Walking through Craters of the Moon feels as if you are on another planet. Strange structures, vast lava fields, and wickedly shaped trees are found throughout this foreign landscape.
Craters of the Moon, located in Arco Idaho, is a very unique National Monument. Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about Craters of the Moon is that it is due for another eruption that is sure to spew lava and create more interesting terrain. As you navigate Craters of the Moon it is easy to imagine the past geologic events that have taken place. You can literally see where the lava hardened, and the large cones are still present.
Craters of the Moon offers a variety of caves and hiking trails to explore. Listed below, are the top Craters of the Moon trails that you will not want to miss. These trails are perfect for families and individuals alike. Each trail is memorable in its own right.
North Crater Flow Trail
This paved .3-mile trail is an excellent way to get your trip to Craters of the Moon started. Informative signs line the trail to provide insight to a majority of the geological formations you will find throughout the park. North Crater Flow trail is a great first glimpse of what Craters of the Moon National Monument has to offer.
Devils Orchard Trail
This trail at Craters of the Moon National Monument is a paved .5-mile loop. Devils Orchard, is a fitting name as you can find all kinds of weird features on this short family friendly trail. The trail has a somewhat gloomy tone as you navigate it. There are signs that line the trail aimed at conservation education. They challenge the visitors of Craters of the Moon to stop and think about the impact humans have on nature. These thought-provoking tips make for an education, and interesting experience.
Inferno Cone Trail
Hands down, Inferno Cone offers the best views of the entire National Monument. The trail brings you to the top of a volcanic cone. Making your way to the top allows you to trek through ancient lava rock. Although it is only a .4 mile trail, it is still rather steep and may require you to take several breaks on your way to the top. It is easy to lose your footing on the crumbling lava rock.
Arriving at the top of the Inferno Cone, you certainly feel the sense of accomplishment that should come with literally climbing a volcano. You are greeted with astounding views of the entirety of Craters of the Moon National Monument. It’s a great location to bring a packed picnic, and stay for a while at the top. A jacket is certainly recommended, as the peak can become a bit windy. Other lava cones can be seen from throughout the park. Another highlight of Inferno Cone trail is the ability to see the beautiful Pioneer Mountains, as well as the Tetons.
Take the time to visit this short .1-mile trail! These unique spatter cones were formed as one of the main volcano’s in the park erupted. Essentially, lava was flung during the eruption to form these geological beauties.
Broken Top Loop Trail
One of the longer trails in Craters of the Moon, Broken Top Loop Trail brings you on a 1.8-mile journey through a variety of geological formation. Gorgeous wildflowers can be found throughout the trail. Lava flows can explored on this trail. It is so cool to be able to look inside them, and in some areas you can even stand on top of them. Buffalo Cave is the main highlight of this trail. Be sure to obtain a permit and bring a flashlight! This trail is a great way to end your time at Craters of the Moon National Monument.