Last summer, our friend Jon Mobeck wanted to take us on a random adventure to escape the hectic Independence Day celebrations in Jackson, Wyoming.
He chose to take us to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. It was amazing (more stories to come).
What I wanted to focus on in this profile is one of the most remarkable landscapes I’ve seen; one we came across en route to the Sawtooths.
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
I’ve heard about this place before, but never, ever did I imagine that we would pass it on July 4th. I let out a big squeal when we passed the sign advertising the preserve.
Craters of the Moon is such a random and bizarre looking region, and it immediately reminded me of the Big Island in Hawaii.
According to the National Parks Service:
Craters of the Moon formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and 2000 years ago. Lava erupted from the Great Rift, a series of deep cracks that start near the visitor center and stretch 52 miles (84 km.) to the southeast. During this time the Craters of the Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles (1600 square km.).The smaller Wapi and Kings Bowl lava fields also formed along the Great Rift during the most recent eruptive period (approximately 2000 years ago).
They also describe the area as “weird and scenic”. Doesn’t that just make you want to go there to see it for yourself even more?
Interesting fact that I learned while there is that the park is approximately the same size as Rhode Island – and the lava flows can be seen from space! Amazing!
Well I was the lucky one, celebrating the United States day of independence by patriotically stopping to explore these active cinder cone volcanoes. Meaning, I was patriotic to my love of geology that day.
If you are ever randomly driving through Idaho, take this detour to stop and check out this very “weird and scenic” lava bed. It’s great for hiking and caving as well, apparently.