Monday, May 27, 2013

Craters of the Moon

Now here's a place I've always wanted to visit...not quite sure why...but we finally made it a few weeks ago. Great place! Especially if you're into Lava....there's plenty of it.

Here's a blurb from the National Parks' website:

Between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago, the Craters of the Moon Lava Field formed during eight major eruptive periods. During this time the Craters of the Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles. The Wapi and Kings Bowl lava fields formed contemporaneously about 2,200 years ago.

618 Square Miles! That's equal to 60 miles times 10 miles!

You can see how large an area the lava flows are from this aerial of southern Idaho

Lava everywhere you looked. And so many variations. They are mostly based on these two:

Some grate trails through the lava fields where you can get a close look at the variations.

I don't us Lava Geeks but we could not get enough of it.

THEN there were the cinder cones...that are formed by small bits of molten rock shot out from a cone. This one I climbed up.

This is the largest (tallest?) volcano in the park.
This is an older can tell by the trees that have started to grow on it.
This is one of the views from the top. These are Splatter Cones. They happen when the lava flow is starting to end. You can see the size of them by the school buses. Notice in the distance how far the lava continues.

Here is one of the Splatter Cones from ground level. You can walk up and look right down inside. 

The Great Rift opened up in the earth causing multiple volcanoes to erupt.

You can see the volcanoes in the distance...each one spewing lava.

You can walk through these lava fields and look at the volcanoes along the Great Rift.

We hiked about a mile to get to one of the lava tubes. This is one that collapsed...not a pretty site.

Kim has always wanted to go inside a lava tube.....she appears to be having second thoughts.

This is on the inside. You can see the scale by the lady sitting on the right. The HUGE rock pile is the ceiling that used to be there where the light is now coming through. You can understand our concern when walking inside. 

Some spectacular vistas around the area.

We had such a great time at the Craters that we came back a second day to take more hikes and learn more.

More information can be found here:

All the photos are posted here as well:

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