Craters of the Moon National Monument

On May 21st we drove Twin Falls, Idaho, where we stayed at the Anderson Camp RV Park just east of the city,for two nights. On Friday, despite bad weather, we drove in the jeep to Ketchum, Idaho, to revisit Sun Valley. We were surprised how different it looked in the summer without the snow. We walked around town and found our favorite coffee shop, Java in Fourth, it’s a local favorite also, and we ate lunch. We also revisited the run where Bob broke his wrist on our ski trip to Sun Valley in 2013.

On our way back we drove out to see the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, established in 1924, and encompass three major lava fields that lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, where lava flowed from a series of deep fissures. Beginning 15,000 years ago lava welled up from the Great Rift to produce this vast ocean of rock. We stopped at the Visitor Center at 5,900′, and picked up a map of the area, there is only one road to follow, a Loop Drive, 7 miles long. We stopped at the Devils Orchard, an island-like lava fragments stand in a sea of cinders. The Inferno Cone Viewpoint where we walked to look down the cone of a volcano. The landscape was definitely barren, resembling a moonscape, but from the the blackness of the hills beautiful wild flowers were in bloom. 

Our last stop was a two mile hike to the Tree Molds with views of the imprint of lava-charred trees, where lava flows overran part of a forest and the trees were incinerated leaving holes and horizontal molds. It was getting late and we still had a 2 hour drive back to our RV, so we had to leave the park. It was definitely worth the visit and one I would like to explore it again in better weather.

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