Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s-the greatest mass migration in American history. More than 1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen across 10 states on the California National Historic Trail.
Emigrants of the California Trail describe the rocks here in vivid detail as "a city of tall spires,” “steeple rocks," and "the silent city." Today, this backcountry byway attracts rock climbers, campers, hikers, hunters, and those with the spirit of adventure. There's inspirational scenery, exceptional opportunities for geologic study, and remnants of the Old West awaiting your discovery.
Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We invite you to explore this "weird and scenic landscape" where yesterday's volcanic events are likely to continue tomorrow...
Did you know horses evolved in North America? The Hagerman Horse, Equus simplicidens, was the first true horse but its bones most closely resembled Grevy’s zebra bones. Hagerman is home to over two hundred different species of fossil plants and animals: including sabertooth cat, mastodon, bear, camel, ground sloth, and many other species. Over 3,000 new fossil fragments are found each year.
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States.
The Pearl Harbor attack intensified existing hostility towards Japanese Americans. As wartime hysteria mounted, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 forcing over 120,000 West Coast persons of Japanese ancestry (Nikkei) to leave their homes, jobs, and lives behind and move to one of ten Relocation Centers. This single largest forced relocation in U.S. history is Minidoka's story.
For countless generations, the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce have lived among the rivers, canyons, prairies, and mountians of the inland northwest. Since the beginning of time, the Nez Perce have called this place home. Nez Perce National Historical Park offers a unique perspective of the American west - not from the Mississippi River looking west, but from an ancient homeland looking out.
Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states-reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.
It's a Wonderland. Old Faithful and the majority of the world's geysers are preserved here. They are the main reason the park was established in 1872 as America's first national park—an idea that spread worldwide. A mountain wildland, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.
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These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/13.