Friday, September 10, 2021

Craters of the Moon National Historic Site and Preserve

Big Crater

I didn't fall in love with Craters of the Moon.  You've seen one black rock, you've seen them all!  But, by the time we came to the end of the 7 mile scenic road I wished we had alloted another day here.  There were 7 stops.  

We stopped at the visitor's center to obtain a permit to enter the various undeveloped caves.  We were informed that if we had on any clothing, including shoes, that had been worn in any cave, ever, we would not be issued a permit due to the bat white-nose syndrom.  Unlike other caves we had been to they did not have a sterilizing system I guess.   Both pair of footwear I had and probably both pair Pat had with him eliminated us.  I was upset but then thought that I probably shouldn't be crawling over rocks yet anyway, although my arm is improving every day.

We stopped at all but stop #7.  We got a late start (my fault) and by noon it was a very hot 93°.  There are basically no trees so at 2 p.m., after hiking for 2 miles at stop #6, we were both done for the day!

It got it's name because explorers thought it's landscape resembled the moon, although Craters of the Moon is formed from lava, not so for the moon craters.  3 lava fields formed during eruptions from the 62 mile long Great Rift beginning about 15,000 years ago. It is dormant but is believed that it will erupt again.

Volcanic rock

Rubber Rabbitbrush

There are a lot of dead trees from a native parasitic organism called "Dwarf Mistletoe."  At one time they tried to kill the trees to stop it but couldn't.  They have decided that the cure is worse than the disease.


An Arch on the road.

Inferno Cone Overlook

Half way down the steep trail from the overlook.

Looking up towards the top.

Spatter Cones

Looking down in one of the cones.

Trail to the Big Crater.

The Big Crater

Arch at the base of a spatter cone.

Lava Cascades 

Cinder field on the 2 mile round trip Tree Molds Trail.

Dwarf Buckwheat growing on the Cinder field.

One of the tree molds made by lava.

Thank you to our Friday night Harvest Host, Holesinsky Vineyard and Winery in Buhl, ID.  Katelyn was so welcoming and their wine is great!  Pat did a flight of 6 generous tastings of some of their red wines.  He picked one  and with a sip and based on the name  I picked one.

Holdsinsky Vineyard and Winery

This is my friend Billy.

Billy runs to greet me when I come out.  

Buhl Jolais and Idawine (Ida was my Grandma's name)

Can you see the trickles down either side?
  The reservoir has been lowered to do some shore work.  At certain times of the year, however, the water above the falls is used for irrigation and the falls are reduced to a trickle to refill the reservoirs. 

This is how the falls should look.

We were having storms Friday afternoon (like we didn't even remember what those were it's been so long) with strong winds.  The water on the left was blowing back up.

Snake River

A Fall on the road to Shoshoni Falls.

Where are the Piepers now?  Buhl, ID


  1. Your pads sound like my cell phone. At least once a year I leave it on a bench or table when I'm out bicycling. Then I see just how fast I can really peddle as I hurry back to get it. So far I always have.

    1. Glad it's always been there. Not so easy to retrieve when you drop it on the ocean.