If you are planning to stay overnight at Craters of the Moon National Monument, you are in luck. There is a 51-site campground near the park entrance. There isn’t much else around Craters of the Moon, so it’s a good thing the campground is there. If your flashlight runs out of batteries, you’ll have to drive 18 miles to the small town of Arco to pick up supplies.
Lava Flow Campground in Craters of the Moon National Monument is open from May to October. Sites are available on a first-come first-serve basis for $10 per night during the summer and $6 per night during the shoulder seasons. Each site has a picnic table and a charcoal grill. Wood fires are prohibited. Potable water and flush toilets are available, and there are no RV hookups. The campground is not plowed once snow arrives, but visitors may snowshoe-in to the campground during the winter months.
Lava Flow Campground provides an interesting camping experience. Each site is surrounded by jagged heaps of basalt. As you might expect from the name, you are camping right on an old lava flow. There is sagebrush and a few trees scattered around the near-barrel campground, leaving it exposed to windy and cold conditions. The ground is black during the day and even blacker at night, which makes for brilliant stargazing. In the daytime, take a stroll down North Crater Flow Trail, which departs from the campground alongside the amphitheater. All other trailheads are just a short drive away.
To get to the campground: Craters of the Moon National Monument is located along US Route 20/26/93 (three routes in one), 19 miles southwest of the town of Arco and 24 miles northwest of the town of Carey. Turn into the main entrance for the monument on the south side of the road and proceed 1/3 of a mile to the campground on the right just past the entrance fee station. Whether you approach Craters of the Moon from Blackfoot along Interstate 15 to the east, or from Twin Falls along Interstate 84 to the west, it is an approximately 90 minute drive off the freeway to Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Campground address: Highway 26, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Arco, ID 83213
Campground coordinates: 43.461143, -113.556848 (43° 27′ 40.11″N 113° 33′ 24.65″W)
This 1.6-mile hike travels above and below the surface, exploring lava tubes in the Great Rift Lava Flow.
|Inferno Cone Trail|
This half-mile hike summits a cinder cone at the center of the scenic loop drive in Craters of the Moon.