Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

Hours: Open 24 Hours         Cost: $
Hours: [M-F 8am-5pm]
 Open: Daily
Cost: [$$$]
Group Size: [15-20]

About the Park

Craters of the Moon National Monument is a preserve for lava fields and grasslands in central Idaho. Established in 2000 by President Clinton, the monument features unique volcano features with dark volcanic rock, which came from volcanic eruptions that happened many, many years ago.

You get to see these interesting formations as you walk on the trails through the park. Most of these trails are easy enough for families with children to do. Some of the trails you can try are:
  • North Crater Trail
  • Devil's Orchard
  • Broken Top Loop Trail
  • Craters of the Moon Scenic Loop
  • Echo Crater

You can also visit the Robert Limbert Visitor Center to learn more about how the park came to be.

To get into the park, you'll need to pay an entrance fee per car, which is typically $10. Pets are allowed if they have a leash. 

Activities to Do
  • Birdwatching
  • Looking at animals in their natural habitats (woodrats, foxes, owls, mule deer, jackrabbits, etc.)
  • Walking around the park
  • Hike the nearby cones and craters
  • Walk through a cave
  • Ski around the park in the winter
  • Have a picnic on a picnic table
  • Take pictures of the scenery
  • Enjoy the drive to the park
  • Watch the sunset/sunrise

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One of the unique things you and your kids can partake in when visiting the Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve is the ability to earn a Junior Ranger Badge. You can even get a virtual Junior Ranger badge, which most likely came about because of recent events.

To get the virtual badge, kids nine and under only have to complete a few tasks, such as identifying volcanic features, reading about Robert Limbert or doing a Craters of the Moon critter scavenger hunt. However, if your child is over nine years old, they'll need to complete each activity to earn their badge. Whatever age your child is, once they get their badge, they can take the Virtual Junior Ranger pledge and have bragging rights about being a Virtual Junior Ranger.

How your kids can become a Virtual Junior Ranger

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What to Bring

When walking around the trailheads of the park, you'll need a couple of supplies to make your trip worthwhile:

  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera or phone
  • Enough gas to drive in and out
  • Jacket
  • Backpack
  • Snacks

If you forget some of these items or decide not to bring them, you'll most likely be fine. The main things you need to worry about bringing is water and a way to get home. Or you could visit the monument's park store to see what supplies they have available (the store will at least have souvenirs for you to take home to show off to your friends and family). 

Guest Reviews

Unique Place

One of the most unique and beautiful places I've been to. The landscape is just unbelievable and the views breathtaking. Definitely worth the long drive through the middle of nowhere. It's a nice drive in itself. Make sure to hike the hill to experience the best views and perspective.

-Katrina W, Google Reviews

Guest Reviews

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Try Each Trailhead

Drive the loop road and stop at each trailhead if you can. They have short hikes of varying difficulty but most are easy. You will see a variety of lava flows.

-Christine G, Google Reviews

Must-See Monument

This is a must see monument while you're in south Idaho! The volcanic terrain and hills are astonishing and you can take a few hikes in the area to see more. There is a campsite right at the park entrance, too. Make sure you have water as it gets pretty hot here in summer. The site staff was super friendly and helpful, too.

-Alex, Google Reviews

Children 9 over
Children 8 under
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