Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-20-2014, 11:19 PM   #1
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Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Earlier this month (May 2014) I spent a few nights at the Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Utah. The monument is in an isolated area; Arco is the nearest town, about twenty miles away. The monument encloses a volcanic lava field and cinder cones, and contains a sightseeing loop that one can drive to view various volcanic formations. There are also hiking trails. The campground is near the visitors center. The camping sites have no hookups; there are a few pull-thru sites but many are back-in. It cost six dollars per night to camp, and this is not a senior discount.

The area is interesting geologically, but for photography one might want to visit when it is colder, with snow on the ground for contrast with the black volcanic rock. There is some wildlife-- hawks and other birds, and the area contains a migration route for mule deer.

One thing to beware of is wind blowing volcanic ash. I left my windows open and it got all over my trailer. The ash is abrasive and I guess it can't be good for machines or people, though I saw no warning signs.

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Old 05-20-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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Correction-- I meant Arco, Idaho, not Utah.

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Old 05-21-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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We were there last year. Very scenic but, wow, what a furnace surrounded by all that black rock.

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Old 05-21-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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Ron-

Yeah, I wondered about summer temps, as I'd like to return later in the season to photograph wildflowers against the black rock. I've only been there in the late winter and early spring. The visitors center claimed it didn't get really hot there, but I have my doubts.

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Old 05-21-2014, 07:34 PM   #5
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Biggest factor at COTM is elevation...5900 feet +/-. So spring or fall with any snow will tend to be cold (30-40 F). Camp info shows open dates from May through November (Campgrounds - Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)) Summer days can be well over 100 but nights will be into the 50s or 60s...great sleeping weather. The wind can be a major misery, especially April or May. Wouldn't make COTM a destination but it's on the way to a lot of beautiful country via Challis, Salmon, or Stanley.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:19 PM   #6
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We were there several years ago in September and will likely stop again when we are in that part of the country; quite a unique place.

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