Craters of the Moon National Monument

An unearthly landscape featuring lava flows, cinder cones and sagebrush in southern Idaho. It's open year-round with opportunities for car camping, day hiking, backpacking, and winter sports.

Getting There

Craters of the Moon National Monument is about 2 hours and 45 minutes from Boise, Idaho, on US-93 between Carey and Arco, in southern Idaho. 


April to November

Once the snow melts, generally in April, hikers and backpackers can enjoy wildflowers and pleasant temperatures through June. Summer months are often too hot for hiking. There is a network of trails and also caves to explore. Cross-country travel is an option but long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended as hikers bushwhacking will walk across lava rocks and encounter rough vegetation. Dispersed camping is allowed but close adherence to Leave No Traces principles is urged to protect the fragile environment. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) granted silver-tier International Dark Sky Park status to Craters of the Moon National Monument. It is an excellent destination for stargazing and photography.

November to April

Visitors in wintertime can enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, and winter camping. The park's loop road closes seasonally, usually in late November, and is groomed for cross-country skiing once enough snow has fallen. Backcountry skiing is allowed off the loop road. Winter visitors should be prepared for cold and windy conditions.


  • Extreme cold in the winter and extreme heat in the summer are the rule. Be prepared for these extremes.
  • The national monument has a car camping at Lava Flow Campground that is usually open from late spring to late November.
  • Echo Crater, accessed via the Wilderness Trail, is recommended for backpackers as a campsite. It is about 3.5 miles one-way to Echo Crater.
  • Suitable Activities: Backcountry Skiing, Backpacking, Cross-country Skiing, Day Hiking, Scrambling, Snowshoeing
  • Seasons: Year-round
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: *Varies*
  • BLM Craters of the Moon, ID
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Craters of the Moon: Wilderness Trail/Echo Crater
  • Craters of the Moon (winter)

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