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.
 

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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.

2022 Education Field Trip Season


Field trips are by reservations only. The field trip is self-guided and no school group orientations will be held this year. Reservations are taken on a first come first served basis, and only one school will be permitted each day. Please note that Buffalo Caves and North Crater Flow Trail are closed until further notice.

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

Reservations


Email our education team or call the front desk (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. If you would like to make a reservation for your students for the end of the school year please do so as soon as possible. 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.

We are currently accepting reservations for the 2022 field trip season.

 

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.

Vehicles and Parking


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

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 three criteria to qualify for an academic fee waiver: eligibility, educational purpose, and 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.

COVID-19 Precautions


Now more than ever, let’s recreate responsibly. When enjoy 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 www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please recreate responsibly.

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 indicate that on the comment section of your education group request form. 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.

Bookstore and Restroom Use


The Visitor Center and Natural Historic Association 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 in various parking areas. If your group plans to use the restrooms at the visitor center, please limit the number of students to no more than five at a time inside this area. Groups may not congregate in the breezeway.

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 all of our visitor centers are ADA accessible. Please let us know if you have any participants that require an accessible site.

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: August 7, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

Arco , ID 83213

Phone:

208 527-1300

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