Craters of the Moon National Monument

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series American National Parks

A few miles later we reached the main entrance to the monument. As we turned into Craters of the Moon we entered a whole new unearthly world. The landscape is barren and black with few trees. There is a road that winds through a small part the monument. Craters of the Moon is really a big monument covering over 1100 square miles. There were several POI’s (points of interest) along the road and a few picnic areas.  We stopped and had a picnic at one of the wayside rests.

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Parked for a picnic.

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One of the stops on the road through the monument was a large cinder cone. I can’t resist a challenge and had to climb up the cone even though my cardiologist probably wouldn’t approve.

I did make to the top and the view was amazing. There were a few other people at the top and we took turns taking pictures of each other like we climbed Mt. Everest or something.

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Sun bleached “driftwood”

The view from the top really was spectacular and well worth the climb. This area of volcanic activity is much larger than I ever imagined. I have flown over this part of the country so many times in my career that it absolutely amazed me that I had never even heard of it or seen it from the air.

If you are taking a road trip in this part of the country, I highly recommend a side trip to this unique National Monument.

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Laurie taking pictures from the bike
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View from the top of the cone
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Looking back at the parking lot from the top of the cone
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Plants growing out of the lava rock
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view climbing the cone
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Tree by our picnic site

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Captain Dan’s Tips

captain dan travel tips

There are so many great parks in the western US. It is a shame that such a unique monument like this gets overlooked. So when you are planning your trip out west and you find yourself crossing the great state of Idaho, take a turn off the freeway and visit this eerily beautiful National Monument, it is well worth the time you spend getting there.

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To visit more national parks in our series click HERE.

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About Dan Ashbach 793 Articles
Meet the Dan behind Dan330. He started a Pinterest account in December 2011 while off on a leave from his day job as a captain on an Airbus A330. While traveling the world, Dan practiced his longtime hobby of photography and developed his eye for natural beauty and appreciation of great photography. Continuing his love of exploration and great pictures, Dan added Pinterest to his daily routine; especially during the long Minnesota winters. His eye for great photography was recognized by the Pinterest community and in just under one year, Dan330 had attracted over one million followers. Dan and his wife Laurie have three children, seven grandchildren and two grand puppies. When not pinning, Dan loves to travel and participate in just about any outdoor activity. There are a few exceptions to this, but to find out what they are you have to go to the Dan330 board dedicated to “Things he won’t do”.