Craters of the Moon Wilderness Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Arco, Idaho that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from May until September.

Length10.6 miElevation gain505 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsRunningViewsWildlifeNo shadeFee
Description
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Getting There

Craters of the Moon National Monument charges a fee to enter. Fees are $20 per vehicle or $15 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $10 per person. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass for $35.

Restrooms available

You can hike this quite early, depending on the snow conditions. Hiking in spring is more enjoyable. No water available, so bring plenty especially in summer when the sun is scorching.

From Arco, ID take US-20 west, after about 20 miles turn left onto Loop Rd that will take you to visitors center. You will have to pay an entrance fee ($15 - May 2018, only credit cards are now accepted and there is an automated machine to get the permit). Drive on the Loop Rd, watch the speed limit. Turn right after about 3.5 miles (the sign will say Tree Molds). Follow the road to the trail head.

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Reviews (34)
Photos (98)
Activities (32)
Completed (68)
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Matthew W
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Hiking

Nice chance to see more of the wilderness. Trail can be a little hard to follow at times, especially at the very end, but not terrible. Highly recommend you go slightly off-trail to check out Echo Crater, which is probably the most dramatic crater I saw in the park. Nothing crazy, but it's right there along the trail, so it'd be a shame to miss it.

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Stefan Hasselblad
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Hiking

Good trail with beautiful vistas and interesting rock formations. I backcountry camped at Echo Crater, which is a large shaded crater about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. You need a free backcountry permit and must carry all your water and pack-out all solid waste. Echo Crater is the spot that the Rangers recomend, but you could camp pretty much anywhere because the terrain is flat. There's also a small potential spot right near the end of the trail, just below the peak of the Sentinel, but I it is not shaded and is open to the wind. I dropped a waypoint on the map there. Overall, a nice easy trail with great views. Well worth doing.

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Jeff Scott
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Hiking
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k h
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Hiking
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Kyle Baird
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HikingNo shade
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Justin Richeson
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WalkingGreat!

Cool near parking lot. Easy trail and very quite after a bit. Only went to lava trees, which were cool.

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Pri Bhargava
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HikingNo shade

About 12 miles total. Was not worth going to the end. Would advise doing all the small trails and half this. Start early because it’s hot with no shade

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David Levitt
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Really beautiful hike that left me feeling like I had really seen the beautiful Volcanic wilderness that is Craters. Don’t miss the scramble up Sentinel Butte and panoramic views at the end of the trail. Had the whole trail to myself too! I’d call this trail a moderate: not too too hard but the mileage in the sun adds up. Granted I combined it with the other 2 or 3 smaller trails at the end of the scenic loop, but I’m feeling pretty gassed Trail got a little lost in the sage bushes for the last 3rd. Offline maps definitely helped keep on track. It looked like there were a lot of great spots to camp although I tackled this as a day hike. Definitely bring lots of water sunscreen etc. if you only have a day or two in the park don’t miss this hike

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Kevin Aaron
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very easy trail with sweeping scenic views

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shelley perpall
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Hiking

This is an amazing hike. I had it all to myself, but that’s because of the rain, hail and gusting winds. As one reviewer said, the trail can be a little hard to find in the last 1/3 of the trek, but just keep your eyes out for boot prints, although that’s sometimes hard because the views are stunning. I can imagine when it’s hot, the sun would be brutal, so probably need a big hat and lots of water.

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Mark L
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Hiking

good. Little snow

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JS Allen
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Hiking

Trail obvious well past Echo Crater, though we couldn't find an existing tread into the crater. Camping out here is easy and impressive.

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Matt Corley
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Hiking

This is a beautiful volcanic high desert landscape hike. I'd rate it more than "easy" though since it runs long at just under 12 miles and the landscape/environment can be a little challenging and requires some trail skills. The loop up and around the twin Sentinel peaks is the reward at the far end of the route and shouldn't be passed up. I started quite early in the day to avoid any excess heat and for some time it seemed that I had the entire monument to myself once I was out on the trail. I saw no other hikers until I was more than halfway back and it made for a rare day hike to have such peace in such a beautiful spot. I also recommend the quick side hop over to the Big Sing Overlook when on the Broken Top loop. Definitely inspect for ticks when you get back - I found one.

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Mark Evans
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Great trail with a lot of distant Mountain View’s along the way. 5% shade over the entire hike and rocky with some sage brush growing into the trails. Easy hike but the distance in the sun can add up. Also, there’s no true trail end with a view so some off people have paved some trails to the top of the close hills. Some cool wild flowers towards the end as well.

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David Andrs
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HikingNo shadeRocky
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Eric Fenner
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Hiking

Easy to to just keep on going. Track your mileage & bring sunscreen in all seasons.

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Mike Sheehan
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Hiking
First to Review

Pretty nice trail, but the trail is overgrown the last mile and a half or so before turning around. Pretty much can't avoid making contact with the brush. My wife found a tick on her sock, then later another on her head, so probably not worth going past where it begins getting overgrown.

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Rick Rhoades
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Joe V
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Jared Rawlings
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Hiking
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AllTrails User
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Hiking
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bill beardslee
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Hiking
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Joshua McIlwain
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Hiking
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K Hara
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Hiking
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Andy Hofmeister
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Hiking
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Andy Hofmeister
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Steve Richins
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Lyle Larson
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Hiking
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