Craters of the Moon National Monument

As it turns out, being in Idaho and being on the moon have something in common. That’s the whole joke…now on to the story!

When I rolled into Craters of the Moon National Monument is was blowing up a gale and raining sideways. The thought of setting up my tent in that was…unpleasant. A chat with the rangers and drive around the park in my nice dry, warm car (Lady Bird) was much more appealing. So that’s what I did. The rain let up about the time I got close to something called the Inferno Cone. I had to look twice at the park map to make sure I was actually going to hike up something called an “inferno cone.” Yes, indeed. Glad the rain let up, and I took that walk! When I got to the top, this is what I found.

A windswept scene on top of the Inferno Cone.
A windswept scene on top of the Inferno Cone.

For a name like “Inferno Cone” the top was full of desert green grasses, bleached white dead-falls, and leaning, windswept Junipers. I also saw a kid who looked sooo happy to be out of the car, and running around the top of an Inferno Cone. I could identify with that.

Yay! Inferno Cone!
Yay! Inferno Cone!


On the way down from the top of the Cone, I came across spatter from ancient volcanic eruptions. They lay much where they landed years and years and years ago.


I took a short walk through the lava tubes, went as far as the light would reach. My time in the lava tubes was cut short mostly because I’m a big chicken. I was all by my lonesome in a deep, dark tube devoid of breeze, light, life…except for the occasional bat that jutted crazily about and a dang pigeon that kept scaring the heck out of me. I didn’t last long down there at all.

The daylight was waning and the campground calling. I spent a peaceful, dry night at site #10.

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