Field Trips

a line of students holding hands to create a tunnel on a trail
Field trips give students the opportunity to learn about geology and ecology in a dynamic environment.

NPS Photo

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is an exceptional area to study volcanic geology and wildlife native to Idaho’s high desert. Groups usually spend two to three hours traveling around the 7-mile Loop Road where students can hike volcanoes, investigate lava flows, and examine this “weird and scenic landscape peculiar to itself.” Although most groups visit in the spring, fall, or winter, reservations can be made to bring a class to Craters in the summer as well.
a line of students and teachers walking on a winding paved path from a small inactive
spatter cone volcano
The Spatter Cones are one of the most popular field trip stops.

2024 Education Field Trip Season

Reservations for 2024 are currently on hold.

Field trips are by reservations only. Reservations are taken on a first come first served basis, and only one school will be permitted each day. Please note that the Buffalo Caves are closed until further notice. Indian Tunnel and Dewdrop Cave are open seasonally depending on conditions.

Please review the group size and vehicle limitations below if you are planning on making a reservation.


Email our education team or call the visitor center at (208) 527-1335 to make a reservation and to receive information about our academic fee waiver. During this conversation we will cover logistics for the day and what we can do to help meet your teaching needs. After making your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email containing a suggested itinerary, information on how to obtain a cave permit for your group, and a link to the curriculum materials found on our website.

During the spring, reservations will not be made for Tuesdays or Wednesdays while the visitor center is closed for safety reasons.


Group Size Limitation

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Outside of winter, education groups are limited to a maximum of two classrooms of no more than 60 people total during their visit to the park. To further preserve the national park experience for all visitors, education groups over 30 in number are asked to divide into separate groups (pods). Each pod has a maximum of 30 people. Both trail and parking capacity were considered in determining the group size limitations. Chaperone supervision is integral to ensuring that the park resource, visitors, and students are safe during their visit. We suggest a minimum of one chaperone for every 10 students.

Each pod will travel as their own group, and only one pod may be at a hiking trail/parking area at a time. For example, one pod may be on the Inferno Cone trail (pod 1) while another is at Devil’s Orchard trail (pod 2). Please plan your trip and bus routes accordingly so that your pods do not overlap at any park site.


Education groups participating in SnowSchool are limited to a maximum of 25 students total (not including chaperones) during their visit to the park due to the limited number of snowshoes available.

Vehicles and Parking

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Due to limited parking at each stop, education groups are allowed no more than 5 vehicles at Craters of the Moon during their visit.


Education groups are allowed no more than one vehicle at Craters of the Moon during the winter due to extemely limited parking at the visitor center.

Academic Fee Waivers

Classes or groups from accredited academic institutions may apply for a fee waiver. Academic fee waivers are not granted automatically. Educational groups must apply and meet the criteria to receive a fee waiver. There are two criteria to qualify for an academic fee waiver: eligibility and educational purpose or relevance of park resources or facilities. Groups that choose to not make a reservation or apply for an academic fee waiver will be charged the standard entrance fee per vehicle. Find out more information about fees & passes.

Transportation and Logistics Assistance

We recognize that limiting the number of people on a bus may be cost prohibitive. Our team is willing to work with education groups to explore transportation assistance fund options to help reimburse potential bus costs. If you are interested in transportation assistance, please fill out and return the transportation assistance request letter included in the initial email. We will also work with education groups to discuss pod logistics, potential pod routes and sample itineraries to ensure that students and visitors can safely enjoy the park.

During the 2024 calendar year, transportation asstance may be unavailable.

Bookstore and Restroom Use

The visitor center and bookstore will be open to education groups in a limited capacity. Five people, four students and one chaperone, from the education group are allowed inside the bookstore for up to 10 minutes at a time. Students may only enter the bookstore if they are intending to make a purchase.

The visitor center breezeway and restroom area are open to the public. Please adhere to social distancing and safety measures in these shared spaces. Comfort stations with restrooms are also available throughout the site at various parking areas. If your group plans to use the restrooms at the visitor center, please limit the number of students inside this area.

Other Considerations

To reduce environmental impact, please bring garbage bags to sort plastic, glass, and metal cans if you plan to have lunch on site. Education groups should place the material to be recycled in the recycle bins on the way out of the park. If education groups choose to have lunch on site, please stay in your pods and practice proper social distancing when possible.

There are a few wheelchair accessible trails within the park and our visitor center and museum are accessible. Please let us know if you have any participants that require an accessible site.

COVID-19 Precautions

Now more than ever, let’s recreate responsibly. When enjoying your parks, please follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Additional details are available at Please recreate responsibly.

Education Resources

We strongly encourage educators to utilize the following resources to prepare for a visit to this special place. Please review the Spring and Fall Field Trip Guide and visit our Curriculum Materials page for more resources. Watch the 15 minute orientation video, and check out our park film, Craters of the Moon: The Movie (Duration: 21 minutes) as well as other videos on our Multimedia Presentations page.

Thank you for helping us ensure that all visitors, staff, and students have a safe and enjoyable experience here Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve!

Last updated: April 5, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
1266 Craters Loop Road
P.O. Box 29

Arco, ID 83213


208 527-1300

Contact Us