Make The Most Of Your NPS Senior Pass: Craters Of The Moon ID
Itchy feet again? Looking for a wild time? As always, your trusty NPS Senior Pass will step in with a rescue. This adventure is really out there: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho.
So, pocket your Cactus Card (aka Senior Pass), jump in your jalopy, and go breezing down the pike to…….nowhere. ‘Cos it will seem like nowhere as you drive.
From the east, flat sagebrush, punctuated by an occasional butte pushed up from the ground. If the landscape looks nuked out, you will in fact be driving through run-down Atomic City—census count 29 in 2010—and Arco, site of the first US attempt to use nuclear energy to fuel a town power grid.
From the west, an equally otherworldly trip from yesteryear. Via Shoshone, a town that barely hints that this area might once just possibly have been vital, and on to what a pioneer on the Oregon Trail described as a “mass of black vomit” puked up by a volcano, guts relieved by a “powerful…emetic”.
Though sparsely vegetated amidst the upchucked lava, there is color enough along the drive to signal that this is going to be a very unusual place ahead. And so it is. Look closely.
When you get there…
Exercise? Sightseeing? Learn? You betcha! There are places to walk and places to drive; caves to explore and ranger talks; botany and stargazing; wildflowers in spring and snowshoeing in winter. All kinds of possibilities for a new adventure.
Camp overnight, optimizing your NPS Senior Pass with 50% fee reduction at the campground. BONUS POINTS! The campground had an overhaul in 2016. The new version is ready for overnighters.
Bring everything you need as far as gas, groceries, ice, drinking water, picnic stuff, supplies of every kind. You’ll soon figure out why this advice is necessary!
The website for Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is particularly technology-astute. Enjoy the several apps—for tours of the monument and wildflowers—Flickr, Facebook….Lots to explore in advance of an adventure there!
Photo credits. Featured image, Inside the lava tube: CC BY-ND 2.0 by Jinx McCombs via Flickr. Top, Big Craters: Public Domain by NPS. Wildflowers in bloom: CC BY 2.0 by NPS via Flickr. Splatter cones with trail: Public Domain by NPS. Camping at Craters of the Moon, Perris Sunset: CC BY 2.0 by PunkToad via Flickr.