#mypubliclandsroadtrip 2016: Places That Rock, Craters of the Moon National Monument
Places That Rock -- #mypubliclandsroadtrip Lands on the Moon!
Managed jointly by the BLM and National Park Service, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho is a uniquely preserved volcanic landscape whose central focus is the Great Rift, a 62-mile long crack in the Earth’s crust. Craters, cinder coves, lava tubes, deep cracks and vast lava fields form a strangely beautiful volcanic sea on central Idaho’s Snake River Plain.
Local legends made references to the landscape resembling the surface of the moon. In fact, the second group of astronauts to walk on the moon visited Craters of the Moon in 1969 to study the volcanic geology and to explore an unusual and harsh environment in preparation for their trip to space. Researchers continue to study the area - particularly the caves within the monument and nearby BLM Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. A number of the caves provide hibernation habitat for Townsend’s big-eared bats, a sensitive species. And they provide a great learning resource for local students.
Visitors can explore this area by car while traveling along a 7-mile loop drive or by exploring via hiking paths and interpretive trails. In the winter, this area is a great spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Explore #yourlands!
Photo by James Neeley