Lunar landscapes in nowhere
According to liuxers, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho was established in 1924. There are very unusual and bizarre landscapes to discover in the region. The center of the National Monument is a large lava field. The lava does not come out there as a steady stream, but swells to the surface in many different ways through holes and fissures and small cones. Here volcanism has created diverse manifestations of lava fields and lava flows.
Lavafeld der “Craters of the Moon”-Region in Idaho
After an expansion by ex-US President Bill Clinton in 2000, the entire National Monument is almost 3000 km² in size. It was thereby enlarged by a factor of 13. As a result, the adjacent prairie areas were also placed under protection, but only with the lower protection status of a National Preserve. This means that herds of cattle can continue to graze there and hunting for game is also possible there. This extraordinary monument of nature is located in the US state of Idaho, in the middle of the Snake River Plains, near Arco. Craters of the Moon is located about 290 km southwest of Yellowstone National Park, which is also known for its volcanic activity.
Diverse flora and fauna
The plant and animal life of the Craters of the Moon National Monument is amazingly rich. But in the end, the lava rock that has been eroded and turned into dust serves as fertilizer, as a growth accelerator for the plant life of the region. 43 species of mammals have been identified in the protected area. In addition, 160 bird species and 350 different plant species. In winter the area is very suitable for snowshoeing and. Workshops for school classes, for example, are also offered.
Camping in a bizarre landscape
Camping at a campsite within the protected area is possible. A parking space costs about $10 a night. Each pitch is equipped with a picnic set and a grill. There are toilets and running water on site. There are no showers and no dump stations for the RV’s sewage. Reservations are not possible at the campsite. Charcoal for the grill can be purchased at the Visitor Center. Wood is in short supply. In principle, only a small part of the protected area is visited by tourists. The rest of the protected area is mostly quiet and nature is left to itself. The Craters of the Moon Sanctuary is a very special National Monument. A bit bizarre at first glance, but still very beautiful.
Hills of volcanic rock – Craters of the Moon
Visitor Center von Craters of the Moon
The National Monument is open year-round. The National Monument is only closed during the winter season. Entry fees are $8 per car; it is cheaper with certain membership cards (Golden Eagle Pass). Entry is $4 per person. Restrooms and a gift shop are located at the Visitor Center. Efforts are being made to ensure barrier-free access for disabled people. Sufficient parking spaces are available, also for coaches. The visitor center has a small exhibition on the nature and culture of the area. Guided nature hikes are offered. Dogs can be taken into the sanctuary on a leash (except guide dogs).
A region of Idaho shaped by pioneer plants and volcanic rock
In the middle of nowhere
Craters of the Moon National Monuments is located approximately 18 miles west of the town of Arco and approximately 24 miles east of Carey. The Idaho Falls are 135 kilometers away and the Twin Falls are 145 kilometers away. The center of the Craters of the Moon National Monument consists of a fissure in the earth’s crust about 100 km long. The last volcanic eruption there was probably about 2,000 years ago.
NASA sent astronauts into the lava fields
This area received its name from NASA. At times, NASA used the area as a training ground for astronauts and astronaut training courses on volcanic geology were held there.
Well visited lunar landscape
Over 200,000 tourists come to Craters of the Moon National Monument each year. The region is quite sparsely populated all around. The national monument, tourism, brings much-needed funds and jobs to the region. The National Monument is also very popular with hikers. Hiking tours with a backpack are possible. You can even go cave hiking. The area is popular with ornithologists for bird watching.