Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, Idaho-Wyoming trip, National Parks and Monuments

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon NM blew us away! I knew it was volcanic in origin, but I did not expect it to look like it did. As we drove up the highway, the landscape gave way to rows of jagged black rock. It looked like some giant had plowed a field there. Across the road there was this pretty scene:

After a stop at the visitor’s center, we climbed up a trail that looked over a major lava field. It is hazy because of the wildfires in the west.

Then we took a stroll over the lava field and marveled at the different textures.

We didn’t have much time to spend here since we had chosen to go to Shoshone Falls and Minidoka NHS before we came here, and we had hours of driving ahead to get to Driggs, so we toured the rest of it from the car. WOW.

^^^Here’s what one of these little plants look like up close. They have evolved to spread in that even distribution because each root system is about three feet square.

It would be great to go back here to camp and go into the caves. It is an International Dark Sky Park, and considering how far it is from any large towns, I can see that it would be an awesome place to watch the stars.

This terrain is so different from what this swamp-raised girl is used to, that I thoroughly enjoyed driving through this high elevation sage brush desert where I didn’t see houses for miles. (Click the photo to go to a short video.)

Sandy was napping and as a result of relying on a map I missed a turn and got a little lost around Rexburg. We found a recreation area of huge sand dunes near St. Anthony, which was actually what I expected Craters of the Moon to look like.

Once we got on the right road and drove past huge flowing hay and wheat fields on our way to Driggs, we were whipped and ready to eat and go to bed. We couldn’t find our AirBNB, which was a converted assistant living facility, so we had a lovely dinner at Three Peaks Dinner Table. Even with updated GPS and a clear map, we had a difficult time finding it in the dark. I was about to lose it I was so tired. Once we found it and got in, our room had not been made up and no one else was there so we moved to room 13 at the end of a dark hallway. Sandy was concerned about running into two little girls holding hands, but the room was clean and comfortable and we enjoyed staying there for three nights while we explored Jackson and Grand Teton National Park.

Next: Jackson and Grand Teton National Park

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