Monday, June 11, 2012


Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

H  37 (way too cold)  L (who knows – much colder than the high)


Craters of the Moon is a huge lava field (750,000 acres). But where is the volcano? These fields of lava issued not from one volcano but from long fissures  across the Snake River Plain that are known as the “Great Rift”.


Beginning about 15,000 years ago lava welled up from the Great Rift to produce this vast ocean of rock. The most recent eruption occurred 2,000 years ago and geologists believe that future events are likely in this area.


Early travelers through this part of the country mostly avoided the lavas. Craters of the Moon finally became known through sheer curiosity and in 1924 this area was designated as a National Monument.

Apollo Astronauts Alan Shephard, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle learned basic volcanic geology here in 1969 as they prepared for their moon missions.


It was cold and windy but we didn’t let the weather stop us and we were not the only ones. You could get into any National Park, Monument or Historical Site free on Saturday and people were taking advantage of the offer. Nobody stayed outside their car for very long but we did take some of the walks through the lava fields.


You drive along a seven mile loop road and at Stop 5 you can walk up to see down into Snow Cone. Snow Cone is a Spatter Cone which is like a mini volcano. The snow is at the bottom of the cone year round, even during the hot summer months.


Right after we got back into the truck the sleet and snow hit. We had been fighting wind and cold and were so thankful to be in the truck. We decided to sit it out and have the lunch that we packed.


I took so many pictures and trying to figure out which ones to put on the blog is almost impossible. This should definitely be a stop on your list when you come through Idaho. It is rather out away from everything but worth the drive.



And yes there is life on the moon:


IMG_4918 Scooter loves to hang her head out the window (even when it is so cold) and let her ears flap in the wind. I let her have the window down when we were in a town so it wasn’t quite so miserable. But I finally had to give up and roll up the window because I was freezing.


Skittlez is definitely not interested in hanging her head out any window in the cold wind.



  1. Are you staying in the campground with all the graduation years painted on the side of the big hill? I enjoyed my time there a couple of summers ago. It was hot, not 37!

  2. Craters of the Moon is a place that I would like to visit. We haven't been there yet.

  3. If creatures from the moon landed here would they assume Earth was just like the moon? I wonder how much of the moon is like where we first landed?

  4. There are some of those same fissures out in Western Arizona most of the way to Quartzsite. The rock is just black! Seems so different from all the other features of the desert. Like it doesn't belong there. Your dogs definitely have different personalities, that's for sure.

  5. Looks like an interesting place to visit. Too bad it is so cold out. Is that a normal temperature for that area this time of year?

  6. I just read another blogger yesterday that went to a lava field. They are so awesome!
    You are scaring me with these temps. We will be there in less than a month and I WANT warm weather. We have had enough of this rain, clouds, and dampness to last a life time!

  7. Very interesting. We have never been there but wanted to go. Scooter looks like our dogs...loved the wind in the face. Rusty can't get up on his hind legs now to look out so I just keep the window down for him when I can.

  8. We were there but it was years and years and years ago. That's all remember is that we were there. Interesting though.

  9. I've seen that area back in 1997 and remember it well. It is pretty amazing to realize all that stuff coming floating along.

  10. Have to add this to our list for our next trip north from the valley of the sun

  11. Seems like just the other day you were concerned with how hot it was. I'm hoping you find just the right temperatures soon, these extremes must be tiring you out having to bundle up, then strip down.

  12. I'm still waiting on the Going to the Sun Road to open ... hopefully, this Friday ... then I plan on going to Washington State which would be a small bit through Idaho.

    I'm thinking of just staying on Highway 2 all the way across and down.

    Bonner's Ferry, Idaho to Spokane then Seattle. I never stick to plans but ... that's what they are now.

    Wish you all were coming up through Kalispell instead of Helena! I hope to meet Gypsy and well? you have been to the Park and don't want to?

    1. What I meant to ask is ... Have you been the route I might take? The Idaho you have been posting is really interesting.

  13. What a great post and someplace we will have to add to our Bucket List. The doggers look pretty happy to be out and about for a ride. Floppy ears in the wind is a joy for any dog!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  14. What a neat place! Hope it warms up for you soon. That is way too cold.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.