We spent some time visiting my parents in Southeast Idaho a few weeks ago. There are a myriad of opportunities for butt trips in that region, and Marisa and I thought that Craters of the Moons would be a great opportunity for another one. It had all the potential. A long drive across a barren desert landscape, ancient geological events, dust, dirt, boring talks about geological events that happened thousands of years ago. Craters of the Moon wasn’t a butt trip however. Our kids weren’t bored and they loved it.
Located near Arco, Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Park was well worth the trip. As you approach the park, the landscape changes almost instantly from a high desert plain full of sand and sagebrush, to a desolate land covered with sharp black lava rock. Think of what the world will look like after it has been razed by sentient machines and you have a good idea of what to expect.
There was a nice visitor center with a movie about the volcanic activity that formed the barren landscape 2000 years ago. We were able to go on a few hikes to view spatter cones and ancient lava flow sites. Our favorite thing to see were the lava tubes. Most of the video below shows us in Indian Tunnel which was 20 to 30 feet high, up to 50 feet wide, and 800 feet long. Our kids loved it. Madelyn earned her Junior Ranger patch which made her think she was in charge the rest of the day.
Enjoy the video that Marisa put together.