HawmanWilson Photography | Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho

November 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This is the first blog of about 5 with snap shots of our recent trip out to Oregon. It was an amazing trip!! So many beautiful and unique places... and so many pictures!! Hence the need for multiple blogs!

One of our first stops was Craters of the Moon in Idaho. We spent half a day here on our way through to Oregon. This area of Idaho is amazingly unique and beautiful. Neither of us had ever traveled through Idaho and are so glad we had a chance to stop and see this neat place. 

"The surface of the moon as seen through a telescope" is how the area was described by geologist Harold T Stearns in 1923. The area was preserved in 1906 by President Calvin Coolidge to keep it "a weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself".

Unlike the moon, whose craters are mostly created by meteorite impacts, Craters of the Moon is mostly formed through volcanic origin. The vast amounts of lava are not from one volcano but a series of deep fissures known as the Great Rift that cross the Snake River Plain. Geologists predict that there will be future events and so the landscape you see in the pictures will most likely change someday to something just as unique as it is today!

We drove the 7 mile loop road and hiked up Infernos Cone which was spectacular. We also checked out the spatter cones and Devils Orchard(an area of lava fragments that stand in a sea of cinders). One of the highlights for both of us was hiking through the various lava caves. The caves are created from lava tubes which are formed when the lava is flowing and the outside of the flow hardens while the inside keeps moving leaving a hollow tunnel. There are 5 that are open to the public and we managed to see 3 of them... Dewdrop Cave, Indian Tunnel and Beauty Cave. As you will see in the pictures the ceiling of some of the caves have large holes which were caused when the the ceiling weakened and caved in. Another neat thing about the caves is the presence of bats** unfortunately we didn't see any though we did hear them in the Indian Tunnel. 

All in all we would definitely recommend a trip to Craters of the Moon! It was a fantastic way to start our 2 week road trip! Stay tuned for our next blog! Happy Travels and Trails!

** We had to check in to the visitor center before entering the caves because they wanted to make sure you have not visited any other caves recently and would possibly be transporting White Nose Bat Syndrome which is decimating bat populations and endangering a number of bat species. While reading the info on bats we found it very interesting that apparently windmills on windmill farms are also one of the biggest things also killing off bat populations along with a number of bird species. 




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