National Park Service
|Craters of the Moon
|18 m SW of Arco, Hwy 93
P.O. Box 29
Arco, ID 83213
CRMO Superintendent's Compendium
Determination based upon 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1), 1.5(c) Closures and Public Use Limits and 1.6 (a) Permits
Land north Highway 93 is closed to all public use except person(s) possessing a valid day-use permit issued by NPS staff at the Visitor Center.
Public access to all areas of the Monument north of Highway 20/26, 93 (the North End prior to the November 9, 2000 expansion) is restricted to protect sensitive biological resources and the Monument drinking water supply. The Monument water supply for public and administrative uses is derived from several springs and wells located in the Little Cottonwood drainage. The 1992 General Management Plan identifies a 2,380 acre "Watershed Protection Sub-zone" encompassing the Little Cottonwood and Leech Creek drainage's. The purpose of this sub-zone is to ". . . protect rare and sensitive water resources in the north end. . . " Permitted uses are those "unlikely to disrupt the balance of riparian ecosystems or threaten the purity and safety of water resources. . . ".
Several caves on the North End shelter one of the few recorded maturity sites for Townsend's big-earred bats (Plecotus townsendii) in Idaho. The female bats raising their young are extremely vulnerable to human disturbance during this period and will abandon caves because of human activity.
Public travel within the North End is restricted to bicycles on designated roads or foot travel during daytime hours (sun-up to sun down) with the exception of those groups authorized to travel by motor vehicle to and from the highway to the Group Campsite for overnight camping.
Access to the North End requires a valid National Park Service permit. Permits will be available without charge at the Monument Visitor Center during normal business hours. All National Park Service employees are authorized to issue permits. Permits will not be issued during periods when big game hunting is authorized by state law on adjoining lands. All caves within the North End are closed to public entry.
Last updated: February 28, 2015