Nature & Science

The awesome effects of volcanism are evident throughout Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Over the past 15,000 years, lava eruptions created a rugged landscape that provides habitat for a surprising diversity of plants and animals in a high desert ecosystem.

Preservation of the unique geological and biological features found here is the overriding purpose of the Monument. To that end, basic and applied scientific research, resource inventories, and monitoring of resource conditions play important roles in the identification, characterization, and interpretation of the Monument’s resources.

a pronhorn antelope stands in a sagebrush desert

Explore the unexpected diversity of animal life at Craters of the Moon.

A single tree grows on a volcanic cone

Discover how plants survive in a harsh volcanic landscape.

a small, green area covered with small plants surrounded by black lava rocks with few plants

A wide variety of ecosystems are found at Craters of the Moon.

A rippling lava field.
Natural Features

Vast lava fields intersect with sagebrush desert to create a unique landscape.

Volcanic formations rise below a blue sky.
Environmental Factors

Learn how both natural and human forces continue to alter Craters of the Moon.

Two hikers with large backpacks traverse the volcanic landscape.
Conduct Research at Craters

Apply for a scientific research permit.

Last updated: November 18, 2023

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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

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