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Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve on July 24, 2020. Photo by Peter Stringer

You don’t have to leave Earth to experience a lunar landscape. The remnants of ancient volcanic activity left behind the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Arco, Idaho.

Craters of the Moon offers a look into the past, as you’ll traverse an ocean of dried up lava that feels oddly out of place yet blends beautifully into the Idaho landscape. Craters covers 54,000 acres of arid lava country – extremely hot in the summer, and dry and cold in the winter.

According to the National Park Service ,“Beginning 15,000 years ago, molten basalt erupted from fissures in the earth’s crust creating this landscape of black and raw lava flows that undulates like a quiet sea.”

In 1969, astronauts Alan Shepherd, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle all explored the monument in preparation for their trip to the Moon. Today, you can hike or camp there and feel like an astronaut.

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