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.
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.
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.
Captain Dan’s 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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