When I first glimpsed it, the breath caught in my throat . . . The sheer vastness of the quiet desolation was overwhelming.
Imagine a terrain blackened with cinder, pumice and lava flows as far as the eye can see.
How despairing it must have been for the pioneers who, with their wagons and oxen, bumped up against this impassable swath. Like a fiery oven during the summer months with little, if any respite.
Finding a way around the black blight binding the land must have been an unbearable toil.
Though all but the most intrepid of emigrants and early settlers avoided the lava fields, the Bannock and Northern Shoshone forged trails, and built shelters here, part of their annual migrations to and from the Snake River.
The unbelievable scenery astonishes visitors from around the world. . .
. . . and the Peaks to Crater Scenic Byway wends its way around it, through it, and in and out of it, for miles upon miles.
From the east on I-15 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, take Exit 119 from the north or Exit 118 from the south. Go west on US-20/W. Broadway Street. The highway changes name to US-20/W Arco Hwy. as it leaves Idaho Falls. US-20 will merge with US-26. Continue east on US-20/US-26 to Arco, Idaho. Turn left/east onto US-20/US-26/US-93 to Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Spatter Cones Trail leads to a view of the caldera inside this mini-volcano, one of many throughout the National Monument. This trail is disabled accessible, though it becomes steep and narrow as it winds to the top. Many of the trails in the park are disabled accessible as well.
Visiting the home of wildlife is always a privilege. We did see Pronghorn in the distance at the park, but were unable to capture them in a photo as they were on the move. I guess that's no surprise considering they are one of the fastest animals on hoof in the western hemisphere.
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