Every Christmas I drive from Jackson to Sun Valley and usually end up getting there around sundown. Just as the sun was dropping I rounded a corner in Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve and had to stop and get a picture of the amazing sunset with a crescent moon rising behind Venus.
Described as a “weird and scenic landscape”, Craters of the Moon certainly lives up to its reputation. It was established in 1924 to preserve the unique volcanic features of this enormous lava field. The 750,000-acre monument contains a diverse array of volcanic features including volcanic rifts, cinder cones, spatter cones, shield volcanoes and lava tubes (caves). A surprising number of plants and animals have adapted to live in the harsh volcanic and high desert environment. It is an excellent site for hiking, bird watching, photography, backpacking and caving. The monument is cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management. Summer activities include guided cave walks and evening programs at the campground. Winter activities include Winter Ecology Workshops, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. School groups are welcome to visit the monument and curriculum resources for teachers are available on our website. Teachers’ workshops are also offered.