Places to Visit: Craters of the Moon National Monument

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Craters of the Moon National Monument

When visiting West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park, it is imperative you put Craters of the Moon National Monument on your travel itinerary so you don’t miss this fabulous sight.

  • Stop to see Craters of the Moon National Monument’s fascinating volcanic features
  • Only $8 for vehicle admission
  • Hike some of the trails to see sights others often miss
  • Explore the lava tubes underground in the caves area
  • Only about 120 miles from West Yellowstone

Overview

In Idaho, you must visit Craters of the Moon National Monument to see some incredible and well-preserved volcanic features within the lava fields.

Seasons

Craters of the Moon is open year round, however snow prevents travel on the Loop Road from mid-November to mid-April. Campsites in the monument area are open in the spring, summer and fall.

Fees

Entrance fees:

  • Vehicles: $8 each
  • Individuals on foot, motorcycle or bicycle: $4 each
  • Those 15 years of age and under: free

Camping fees:

  • Lava Flow Campground: $10 per site (May through October)

Highlights

The Craters of the Moon is a preserve that is unique to our world, with its surfaces resembling the moon. In fact, astronauts were sent here in 1969 to study the landscape, as it would be so similar to what they would experience in their moon landing.

Scenic driving is a real pleasure as you take the 7-mile Loop Road to explore. Hiking the wilderness trails (with their interpretative signs) in the summer allows you to see many areas usual tourists don’t see. And don’t miss heading underground to the caves area. While you are at Craters of the Moon, stop in the Visitor Center to see their exhibits and films.

Getting Here

It’s simple to get from Craters of the Moon to West Yellowstone. Starting in Arco, Idaho, take US 20 to I-15 North. Take exit 119 and you will be again on US 20 East which will take you right into West Yellowstone. It’s a scenic 2-hour and 49-minute drive.

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