This short 2-mile hike in Craters of the Moon National Monument passes through desert pine forest past craters and lava floes to tree molds from burned trees. There is camping close by in the Craters of the Moon campground (or get a backcountry pass and camp in your own piece of the desert).

The trail starts at the parking lot with bathrooms, bike rack and picnic table at the trailhead. Trailhead coordinates (43°25'40.5"N 113°32'55.3"W)

It winds its way along a pretty flat and straight path through desert pine forest along the edge of a lava floe. It passes a small crater which is surrounded by some trees providing necessary shade. Great place to grab a bite to eat.

The trail is well-marked in the first 1.5miles and the last 0.5miles becomes more difficult walking over lava rocks but is well-worn. Look for varieties of birds (there are reportedly 212 species that make home in craters)

Its a great spot for hiking in the summer (early/late in the day) and can be even more special in the winter months covered in a layer of snow.

Pack List

  • National park pass/entrance pass
  • Hiking boots
  • Water (lava rocks are hot)
  • Snacks/Lunch
  • Sunhat and Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 100 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Inferno Cone

To reach the parking lot at the Inferno Cone Trailhead enter the Craters of the Moon National Monument at the main entrance on the north side of the park off US Highway 26 and go approximately 1.

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Hike the Craters of the Moon's Lava Tubes

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Southern Idaho is a vast ocean of lava flows, with scattered islands of cinder and splatter cones created by volcanic activity 15,000 years ago.

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Bike the Loop Road at Craters of the Moon National Monument

Biking Crater of the Moon National Monument's seven mile loop road provides an intimate experience through a wild landscape. Park at the Visitor's Center.

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