Craters of the Moon National Monument covers a total area of about 460,000 acres of land that lies in south-central Idaho about 20 miles west of Arco and 24 miles east of Carey on Highway 20 (which is also concurrent with Highway 26 and Highway 93). To get to the national monument, visitors must drive 84 miles from Idaho Falls or 90 miles from Twin Falls.
The land where the national monument sits was proclaimed on May 2, 1924, and designated wilderness on October 23, 1970. Craters of the Moon National Monument is managed by both the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Several attractions make this national monument a big draw to visitors.
First, the protected land has the largest young basaltic lava field in the contiguous United States and features over twenty volcanic cones including significant examples of spatter cones. Additionally, within the protected land are about 60 different lava flows that range in age from between 2,000 years and 15,000 years.
Secondly, the Craters of the Moon National Monument surprisingly has a rich diversity of flora and fauna consisting of 350 plants species, 160 bird species, and 43 mammal species. This is surprising to some simply because the land seems so desolate and lonely.
Besides this rich biota, the national monument is also an excellent attraction for those that love recreational activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, snowshoeing, interpretive programs, and auto touring. Some of the amenities in the park to facilitate these activities include a museum/exhibit, picnic area, self-guided tour/trail, campground, visitor center, and restrooms.
Dogs are certainly allowed into Craters of the Moon National Monument, but the dog owners have to realize that they will be restricted from visiting some areas while with their dogs. For example, dogs are certainly not allowed into the visitor center or other park buildings.