Summer 2017, Day 7: Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon is a young lava flow, less than 15 thousand years old. Some areas of the park are less than 2,000 years old.

We hiked many of the trails in the park as many were paved and clearly labeled with elevation changes and interpretive information. This was one of the most informative parks we have ever visited.

We hiked the Inferno Cone which had an elevation gain of 164 feet in less than a half mile. But the views were awesome.

Hiking the Inferno Cone

On top of the Inferno Cone

The view from the top of the Inferno Cone towards the Pioneer Mountains

Another view from the top of Inferno Cone


The Spatter Cones Trail was .1 miles to look in to two spatter cone lava formations.

Jackalopes ascending the Spatter Cone

Preggers ascending the Spatter Cone

Flowers growing on lava rock…

So metal.


Our big hike was to the caves at 1.6 miles. A free permit was required to access the caves and we had to carry light sources.

The Caves Trail

And lazy jackalopes.


The caves are actually partially collapsed lava tubes.

To the lava cave!

Preggers in the lava tube

J in the lava tube

This was so cool

The Devil’s Orchard Trail (.5 mi)

We greatly enjoyed Craters of the Moon National Monument and highly recommend it.

But wear sunscreen. That lava will bake you.

We headed south towards Utah.

This area of Idaho had an interesting history that we were unaware of. We passed through Arco, Idaho – the first city in the world to be lit by atomic power. And, home of epic graffiti – for decades the high school graduating class has put their year on the side of Arco Hill.

A bit south we cruised near Atomic City, site of the United State’s only fatal nuclear accident. It’s a ghost town with a population of 29 as of the 2010 census. We didn’t stop.

Arco, Idaho

Lots and lots of signs saying DON’T EVEN GO HERE

We cruised on south.

We had planned to camp just north of Salt Lake City on Antelope Island. Until we got to the park entrance before the causeway leading out to the island. And a guy steps out of the building in full beekeeping outfit. We are wondering what is going on until we see the sign warning that the “gnats have hatched”.

Apparently they are seriously annoying biting little buggers.

Could they really be that bad?

And then we looked up.

They want IN

We cruised on south.