First Time at Crater of the Moon

One of the main reasons we stayed in the Twin Falls area was for easy access to Craters of the Moon National Preserve.  I heard about it from our friends Greg and Cori and wanted to check it out. It is a huge area in the middle of nowhere Idaho that is the site of the youngest lava flow in the continental United States.   I should say before I go any further that because it was early in the season a chunk of the park was closed to us.  I saw pictures later of what we missed and if you like lava tubes this is definitely a place to check out.  Personally though I am not a huge fan of this type landscape and for me at least it was definitely blah. Here’s the pictures though…judge for yourself.

The landscape leading to the park


Still some snow in the area


The visitors center.


I will say they had one of the best movies I have seen in a Monument. Astronauts used this site to practice for both the moon and mars which is cool if you are into that sort of thing.


My favorite part was about this cute little critter called a pika. We didn’t see one, but Jack smelled them everywhere. I think I need to start picking these up for my future grandchild.


Jack smelling for Pika


The campground was pretty cool but there were only a couple of  sites that would fit a rig our size (42, 12 and 35.)  The campground also had no cell coverage at all.


And as I mentioned most of the scenic drive was closed. We could have hiked in, but wasn’t sure how the dog would do.


We did walk on a short paved trail through Devils Garden,  It was cold in the wind and unfortunately Lee didn’t have a coat with him.


The pavement was made of black rock, which I liked.


I didn’t like the preachy signs. I like being educated but don’t like it when I feel like I am being scolded.

Here’s an example of a tree that died due to mismanagement

That tree kind of summed up my overall feeling about the place.  I just found it a bit depressing.  That being said I really liked the drive and we stumbled across a couple of cool places.  First off we found this cute little post office and I was able to mail something to my daughter.  She is now 32 weeks pregnant and looks cute as a button.  I liked the small post office because the woman helped me find the cheapest way to send my package and I saw the cutest advertisements posted.  Gotta love small towns.

I would totally hire these kids.

The absolute best part of the drive though was when we stumbled across a place for lunch called Picabo Angler.  It literally was the only place for miles and we walked inside with little expectations.  Most of the time, these impromptu stops are a disappointment, but this was absolutely amazing.

We walked in the door and saw this cool dining area


The chairs were wicked comfy and cool


We got a little confused because the grill is in the very back corner. We had time to browse while the food was cooking.


Part Museum, part general store, great stuff in every direction


Loved this original cash register


The founding brothers of the town


There was a post office


A general store


And a large fly fishing store.  If funds were no issue I would have bought a pair of these in a minute.

The most amazing thing though was in the corner of the fly fishing area there was a tiny Hemingway museum.  Here we were in the middle of nowhere and Hemingway was friends with the owners.

Signed copies of his books gave me tingles


Lee liked two of his guns they had on display.

Finally our food came and it was really terrific.  I had the best BLT I have had in a really long time and Lee loved his burger. We really had a nice time eating there and if you are ever passing by absolutely recommend a stop.  If you are a fly fisherman go out of your way to visit.  They had an amazing selection of flies for sale.



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7 thoughts on “First Time at Crater of the Moon

  1. A good spot for lava tubes is just SE of Klamath Falls Or. Turn east on Or 39, which changes to CA139 very quickly. You can camp in the Tulelake Exhibition grounds, and Drive to Lava Tubes National Monument. A number of tubes are available to hike through.

  2. I just love finding little stores and eateries in the places we visit. It’s one of the best parts of traveling for me. We had a wonderful lunch at a little Mexican restaurant in Ferndale last week, and great BBQ in a shoebox sized smokehouse in Eureka.

  3. That bell was made in Hillsboro, Ohio…just down the road from Columbus. A man by the name of Charles Singleton Bell started a foundry there. During WWII, they manufactured every ship’s bell for the U.S and Great Britain. Quite a small town story!

  4. I like your posts, especially when showing nice little eating joints. I am keeping notes about these places and hope I remember to check them when wee start traveling. I enjoy the information/history you give in your posts. I also agree with you about preachy signs. Stay safe.

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