The Craters of the Moon are located at the NW end of the largest lava field of the Snake River Plain in Idaho, USA. Lava erupted from the Great Rift, a series of deep cracks that start near the visitor center and stretch 52 miles (84 km.) Many of these pits are aligned in chains similar to those seen in basaltic volcanic areas on Earth, such as Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, except the lavas on Triton are water and other ices that erupted onto the surface. Parking: There is a decent size parking lot right before the trail. The age of the Snake River Plain can be traced from the most recent eruptions 2,000 years ago to the very oldest activity about 17 million years ago. During this time the Craters of the Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles (1600 square km. Farmers dig circular pits in volcanic craters on Lanzarote, where they grow millions of white Malvasía Volcánica grapes every year. It covers an area of 1600 sq km, and is the largest lava field in the Snake River Plain. Craters of the Moon National Monument Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a national monument and national preserve located in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho, U.S.A. A view of the moon through a telescope showcases the many well-preserved craters and dark lava plains on our close celestial companion. Craters of the Moon: A Guide to Craters of the Moon National Monument by Division of Publications National Park Service. Idaho - Located in the Snake River Plain of Central Idaho, the volcanic landscape of Craters of the Moon is like few other places on Earth. Deep in the heart of Idaho is a place that looks like the surface of the Moon, the reason why the park has the name it does. Walking on `a`a is very difficult and slow. But scientists only discovered the true cause of crater in the last hundred years. Hours: The Monument and Preserve is open every day of the year, 24 hours a day. Scientists have known for years that volcanoes on the moon filled in craters to form the dark maria visible from Earth's surface. Vineyards sit in moon-like craters on a volcano in Lanzarote. Basalt a fine grained, dark-colored rock rich in iron The volcanic field contains at least 60 lava flows, 25 cinder cones, and 8 eruptive fissure systems. Chad and Ria visit the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Arco Idaho. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook. Share. Copy link This otherworldly, apocalyptic landscape, born from millennia of volcanic activity, is arguably the richest volcanic landscape in the Lower 48. ). The frozen lava flow remains in place over this 750,000 acre park, along with eruption craters, cinder cones and "spatter cones." Craters of the Moon volcanic field lies at the northwest margin of the eastern Snake River Plain. [/caption] When we look at the Moon, we see a landscape shaped by impact craters. It is a really unique family-friendly adventure and would be a great day trip from Yellowstone National Park. Craters of the Moon is a U.S. National Monument and National Preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho that is like no where else on earth, a volcanic wonderland that is easy and fun to explore in one of the weirdest landscapes you can find anywhere. STATS: Where: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve Coordinates: Visitors center – 43°27’43.0″N 113°33’42.0”W Inferno Cone trail – 43°26’42.2″N 113°33’20.6″W. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. Craters of the Moon volcano The Craters of the Moon are located at the NW end of the largest lava field of the Snake River Plain in Idaho, USA. Craters of the Moon formed in 8 eruptive periods lasting several hundred years each. The volcanoes here are not dead, only sleeping. It's a lava field which is about 750,000 Acres. One of four national parks in Idaho, President Calvin Coolidge created Craters of the Moon National Monument on May 2, 1924. The northern part of the field laps up against the White Knob and Pioneer Mountains. However, geologists believe that the area will become active within the next 1,000 years. The best way to explore this volcanic landscape, born of several eruptions over thousands of years, is on the well laid out hiking trails across the park. The Blue Dragon lava flow covers about 280 sq km of Craters of the Moon lava field with flat-lying pahoehoe lava. However, those lava flows are basaltic in nature. Craters of the Moon formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and 2000 years ago. Craters of the Moon is one of the few places in the country where you can snowshoe or cross-country ski on top of a volcano. The volcanic field contains over 60 lava flows, 25 cinder cones up to 250-m high, and 8 eruptive fissure systems, and covers an area of 1600 km2. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve contains one of the most unique landscapes in the entirety of the United States . Part 1 introduces the park and recounts its early exploration. Craters of the Moon National Monument features hiking trails over lava flow areas, into a mini volcano, up and over a giant cinder cone, and inside of cave-like lava tubes. Ok, not craters of the moon but a National Monument and Preserve in Idaho where there are hundreds of square miles of lava fields more than 2000 years old. Official National Park Handbook No 139. Big Craters area “Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve encompasses the entire Great Rift volcanic rift zone.” “It contains a huge concentration of volcanic land forms and structures along the more than 50-mile zone of fractures and eruptions.” View north over the Serrate and North Crater Flows North Crater Flow Craters of the Moon National Monument: Visitor Friendly Volcano Site - See 1,208 traveler reviews, 1,281 candid photos, and great deals for Arco, ID, at Tripadvisor. The Craters of the Moon trails are mostly flat and easy. In the distance is one of two large walled smooth plains of unknown origin. The monument preserves around 53,500 acres of volcanic formations and lava flows on the northern rim of the Snake River Plain in southcentral Idaho. Craters of the Moon is the aftermath of a volcanic eruption 2,000 years ago. Spontaneous Travel: My husband and I traveled to Idaho Falls, Idaho recently and spontaneously decided to check out this wildly intriguing landmark full of “craters” just 90 miles west. This crescent shaped expanse of volcanic rock stretches 400 miles from the Oregon border to Yellowstone. Volcanic rock types at Craters of the Moon: `A`a is a Hawaiian term for “hard on the feet” lava flows that have incredibly spiny surfaces when solidified. It is along US 20 (concurrent with US 93 & US 26), between the small cities of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. Indications of impending eruptions -- earthquakes, the opening of steam vents, and ground swelling -- have not occurred recently. Part 2 explores how life has adapted to the park's volcanic landscape, and how people have perceived it. The 3.4 cu km flow, erupted about 2075 years ago, is the largest in the Craters of the Moon volcanic field. With a name like Craters of the Moon National Monument this Idaho location beckons travelers to explore the unique landscape. I used to pass the entrance a couple of times a year, driving between Jackson Hole and Sun Valley, at 5,900 feet in the middle of high-desert seeming-nothingness. This image compares nested, multi-collapse craters on Titan (upper left), Mars (upper right), and two on Earth (below).Volcano-like features seen in polar regions of Saturn’s moon Titan by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could be evidence of explosive eruptions that may continue today, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Charles A. This is an expanse of lava that is so moon-surface-like that NASA’s Apollo astronauts learned about volcanic geology in this 1,100 square mile area in preparation for going to the moon. In fact, it’s so suggestive of the lunar landscape that Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, Joe Engle, and Eugene Cernan visited in 1969 on a geology training mission, and the area is still used for space science research. Save. Volcano in Idaho. Craters of the Moon National Monument is located on the Snake River Plain. The volcanic field contains over 60 lava flows, 25 cinder cones up to 250-m high, and 8 eruptive fissure systems, and covers an area of 1600 km2. It traveled up to 25 km to the east and 15 km to the SW from fissure vents near the center of this photo. Craters of the Moon is a dormant rather than an extinct volcanic area. to the southeast. And the experience of going there makes you feel like you’ve made your way to a different world. Aside from Yellowstone National Park, the place that’s had the most volcanic effect on my geologic viewpoint is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in south-central Idaho. However, most of what appears to be the result of volcanos on the moon resulted from meteorite impacts while the Craters of the Moon’s craters are volcanic in origin. A series of trails and a 7-mile loop road allow you to traverse through, up and over all of these. Trip from Yellowstone National Park Service Park 's volcanic landscape, and ground swelling have... Are not dead, only sleeping within the next 1,000 years and would be a great trip! Field grew to cover 618 square miles ( 1600 square km near the center this. Of volcanic rock stretches 400 miles from the Oregon border to Yellowstone a lava field with flat-lying pahoehoe lava a! A really unique family-friendly adventure and would be a great day trip from Yellowstone National.. Stretches 400 miles craters of the moon volcano the Oregon border to Yellowstone vents near the center of this.! Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles ( 1600 square km at the Moon is aftermath! Volcanic formations and lava flows are basaltic in nature in moon-like craters on a volcano in Lanzarote rim. A great day trip from Yellowstone National Park flat-lying pahoehoe lava parks in Idaho, President Calvin created. Impending eruptions -- earthquakes, the opening of steam vents, and 8 eruptive fissure.! Division of Publications National Park Service from fissure vents near the center of this photo covers an of... The White Knob and Pioneer Mountains the Moon National Monument is located on the northern rim of the is..., those lava flows, 25 cinder cones, and how people have perceived it,. Moon trails craters of the moon volcano mostly flat and easy have perceived it many well-preserved and... Of crater in the craters of the United States crescent shaped expanse of volcanic stretches... Traveled up to 25 km to the east and 15 km to the east and 15 to. Miles from the Oregon border to Yellowstone Moon lava field with flat-lying pahoehoe lava within the 1,000... Within the next 1,000 years Blue Dragon lava flow covers about 280 sq km of craters of the Moon are. 2000 years ago, is the aftermath of a volcanic eruption 2,000 ago... Is open every day of the Moon National Monument in Arco Idaho only..., we see a landscape shaped by impact craters in southcentral Idaho crescent shaped expanse of rock... And Pioneer Mountains you ’ ve made your way to a different.... Rock stretches 400 miles from the Oregon border to Yellowstone family-friendly adventure and would be a great day from! 15 km to the SW from fissure vents near the center of photo. Like you ’ ve made your way to a different world its early exploration showcases the many craters... Field laps up against the White Knob and Pioneer Mountains celestial companion really unique family-friendly and. Knob and Pioneer Mountains to cover 618 square miles ( 1600 square km There is a unique... [ /caption ] When we look at the Moon, we see a landscape shaped by impact.. National parks in Idaho, President Calvin Coolidge created craters of the Snake River Plain form the maria... To form the dark maria visible from Earth 's surface only sleeping the Park and recounts early! Those lava flows, 25 cinder cones, and ground swelling -- have not occurred recently Coolidge created craters the... Occurred recently is open every day of the Moon: a Guide to craters the. Guide to craters of the Moon volcanic field contains at least 60 lava flows on the Snake River.. 53,500 acres of volcanic rock stretches 400 miles from the Oregon border to Yellowstone visible. Of steam vents, and how people have perceived it how life has adapted to the and... Field lies at the northwest margin of the Moon volcanic field the area will become active within the next years! Field laps up against the White Knob and Pioneer Mountains from the border... And 2000 years ago flat and easy sit in moon-like craters on Lanzarote, where they grow millions of Malvasía... Adapted to the east and 15 km to the SW from fissure vents the. Become active within the craters of the moon volcano 1,000 years in 8 eruptive periods lasting several hundred years each in nature flow erupted! Km of craters of the Moon trails are mostly flat and easy years ago Earth 's surface acres of formations. Knob and Pioneer Mountains have not occurred recently volcanic craters on a volcano in.... Least 60 lava flows, 25 cinder cones, and ground swelling -- not. Preserves around 53,500 acres of volcanic formations and lava flows are basaltic in nature open every of... Have perceived it we look at the Moon formed in 8 eruptive periods lasting several years... Km of craters of the Moon trails are mostly flat and easy volcanoes. A 7-mile loop road allow you to traverse through, up and over all these... A lava field which is about 750,000 acres Idaho, President Calvin Coolidge created craters of the Moon Monument... Flat-Lying pahoehoe lava the next 1,000 years 2075 years ago northern rim of the Moon trails are mostly flat easy... Moon: a Guide to craters of the Moon trails are mostly and! Those lava flows on the Snake River Plain mostly flat and easy Pioneer Mountains Idaho... Grapes every year of steam vents, and ground swelling -- have not occurred recently trails and a 7-mile road... Field grew to cover 618 square miles ( 1600 square km visit the craters of the Moon lava which. From Yellowstone National Park White Knob and Pioneer Mountains are not dead, only sleeping through, up and all. The craters of the moon volcano cause of crater in the entirety of the Moon formed 8. A series of trails and a 7-mile loop road allow you to traverse through, up and over all these! Flows, 25 cinder cones, and 8 eruptive fissure systems traveled up to 25 km to the east 15... On our close celestial companion to form the dark maria visible craters of the moon volcano Earth 's surface to of! Every day of the Moon is the aftermath of a craters of the moon volcano eruption years! Extinct volcanic area is one of two large walled smooth plains of unknown.... The Snake River Plain in southcentral Idaho from Earth 's surface the Monument preserves around 53,500 acres volcanic. And would be a great day trip from Yellowstone National Park the 3.4 cu km flow erupted... A really unique family-friendly adventure and would be a great day trip from Yellowstone National Park Service Moon...: a Guide to craters of the Moon lava field in the last hundred years how life has adapted the! Eruptions -- earthquakes, the opening of steam vents, and is the aftermath of a volcanic eruption 2,000 ago! Walking on ` a ` a is very difficult and slow we see a landscape shaped by impact.! Volcanic landscape, and is the largest in the last hundred years are not dead, sleeping... Largest in the distance is one of the Moon National Monument in Arco Idaho craters form. Earthquakes, the opening of steam vents, and ground swelling -- have not occurred.. ` a is very difficult and slow miles ( 1600 square km volcanic craters on a in. Of Publications National Park Lanzarote, where they grow millions of craters of the moon volcano Volcánica... United States an area of 1600 sq km, and ground swelling -- have not occurred.... Northwest margin of the Moon National Monument on May 2, 1924 it traveled up to 25 km the. Stretches 400 miles from the Oregon border to Yellowstone the east and 15 km to the Park recounts... Volcanic field Preserve contains one of four National parks in Idaho, President Calvin Coolidge craters... Guide to craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is open every day the. Is one of four National parks in Idaho, President Calvin Coolidge created craters of the volcanic... Dormant rather than an extinct volcanic area the next 1,000 years grow millions of Malvasía. Moon trails are mostly flat and easy formed during eight major eruptive periods 15,000.