Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Travel Tuesday: Craters Of The Moon National Monument
This week I am taking you to Idaho, a place called Craters Of The Moon National Monument. Personally, I think this is the perfect place to visit if you are driving through the state, or need an overnight stop. You can easily see everything you'd like in a few hours, or do most of the hikes in half to a full day.
What is Craters Of The Moon National Monument? Huge mass of lava flows, with a few cinder cones spread throughout the sagebrush. These are the residual effect of ancient lava flows. A fun fact, in 1969 Apollo astronauts came to this place so they could prepare for their future trips to the moon:) Additionally, the National Parks service officially calls this the "weird" park.
First, you'll want to stop off at the ranger station and pay the entrance fee, and grab a map of the area with a list of the things to do and see. Additionally, if you are planning on visiting and going into the caves, you'll need to obtain a Cave Permit.
Then take your car and start driving the loops to see the different points of interest, as well as the different hikes. This is something people can do either completely by car, or if you like to get out and hike or cave, there is a bit of adventure too!
I am one of those people that absolutely loves the outdoors, and I can find beauty in all things. Some may see acres and acres of black rock and sagebrush, and I see beauty and adventure. I love being in places where you can't see homes/business for as far as the eye can see, I find it so peaceful!
This is one of the largest cinder cones you can hike up on top of. It may not look like much of a hill, but it was:) I found it especially hilly since I climbed the the day after I ran 26.2:)
Hope my dad doesn't mind me using this shot. I mentioned that the hill you climbed is a pretty steep climb. Well this picture was taken with my dad about 3/4th of the way down the hill. See the tiny parking lot below? That is the starting point, now you see how big this cinder cone is. On my tired marathon legs, going down was much tougher than going up, especially when your legs are jello:)
I enjoyed getting out and hiking along the different trails to the different cinders to look down their holes or into the caves:) I didn't go caving this trip, but if I am ever in the area again sometime (on less tired legs) I will definitely be going down below!
Like I mentioned above, the area is vast and their are really spectacular views a top the different points and cinder cones.
I also enjoy reading about geology and learning about the different things in the earths history!
So that is it! If you are ever going to be on your way through Idaho I highly recommend taking the short detour to visit this National Monument! It's not exactly one, I would plan an entire trip to see, but it is for sure a great place to stop along your way if you are in the area!
IF YOU GO:
* There is a fee per car
* Permits are required for exploring the caves
* Take water with you if you'll plan to be out hiking in the summer
* Bring a camera:)
* Wear a good pair of shoes
* If you'll be caving or climbing on the rocks wear a good pair of leather gloves, that lava can really cut you up good if your not prepared.
* Also if you'll be climbing around on things, wear pants instead of shorts, to keep your skin from getting cut from the lava rock.
* They do have a campground, if you need a place to stay.