September 7th, 2018
I wanted to love it. Really I did. After all, our National Park visits have been some of our most exceptional stops along our RV road trips.
Sadly, this time I was left less than overwhelmed. I think because I am so passionate about photography, and the stark, relatively bland and colorless terrain made it challenging to take photos I was excited about.
The park is located in south-central Idaho about halfway between Boise and Yellowstone National Park.
“Craters of the Moon is a huge national park. It is over 1,100 square miles (over 750,000 acres) which is roughly the size of Rhode Island. The young lava flows that make up the bulk of the Monument and Preserve can clearly be seen from space.” – National Parks.org
Although the park is enormous, there is only one paved road across the northern end. Inside the park, there is a loop road that will take you to some of the most well-known features.
This limits exploring the park to an extent, however, by taking several short hiking trails, we were able to see examples of the primary forms, flows, caves, sagebrush, cinder and spatter cones.
The Snake River Plain volcanic area was created by a series of enormous eruptions that started some 15 million years ago. The hotspot moved east (as the North American Plate migrated southwestward), under the Craters of the Moon area about 10 to 11 million years ago and is now thought to exist under Yellowstone National Park.
The Craters of the Moon Lava Field is relatively young in comparison with the oldest flows around 15,000 year old and the most recent eruption being about 2000 year ago.
Devil’s Orchard Trail
This is an easy, paved, wheelchair accessible .5 mile loop. This was probably the prettiest section of the park IMHO.
TRIVIA TIDBIT: In the summer of 1969, Apollo 14 astronauts including Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, Joe Engle, and Eugene Cernan trained in Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Spatter Cones Trail
This was another very short trail, but going uphill.
There are several caves to choose from. Jan and Mark were most interested in exploring Boy Scout and Beauty Caves and we brought our headlamps along with us. Tim and I went into the Boy Scout Cave, but did not venture much past the entrance.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that I am finally back at my computer, trying valiantly to get back into the swing of writing about our travel adventures. As you might have noticed, the date at the top of the post is from September, 2018. Tim and I were near the end of a wonderful two-week RV road trip with my sister and brother-in-law. For some reason, I simply never finished writing about the last few days of that trip. Call it writers block, laziness, or whatever. But today we got invited to join our travel buddies Dick and Karen on another short RV trip. It motivated me to get my behind in gear and get caught up. I’ve got at least one or two more posts left in me 🙂