Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon: The Devil's Landscape

We found a portal to another world: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, within the Snake River Plain of central Idaho. Formed by volcanic eruptions that began 15,000 years ago and continued until relatively recently, the landscape possesses an ominous yet undeniably beautiful quality. Cinder cones, spatter cones, and lava tube caves spatter the otherworldly terrain.
It’s unlike anything I’ve encountered in my extensive travels across the United States. Part of the monument even bears the chilling name “Devil’s Orchard,” a fitting name for this awe-inspiring volcanic scenery.

The Black Inferno Cone

Our hike to the summit of the towering, jet-black Inferno Cone revealed the park’s immensity, offering a breathtaking 360-degree panorama. The lone, resilient tree atop the cone was a testament to nature’s enduring strength in harsh conditions.
While some trails were impassable due to the early spring snow, our visit was perfectly timed. The snow patches, contrasting beautifully against the black volcanic rock, only enhanced the mystical atmosphere of this awe-inspiring corner of the planet.


Thursday, April 1, 2021


10.22 miles

Moving Time

3:04:17 hours


56 °F, light breeze, sunny