a marmot lying on a pile of dark rocks
The yellow-bellied marmot is a commonly-seen species at Craters.

NPS Photo

62 species of mammals are known to live at Craters of the Moon! Some animals, such as golden-mantled ground squirrels, chipmunks, yellow-bellied marmots, and mule deer, are commonly seen by visitors. However, since many desert animals are inactive during daylight hours or wary of humans, sightings can be truly special events. Tracks and scat are often the only sign of an animal’s presence.

  • Smaller mammals can more easily adapt to the hot climate and scarce water at Craters of the Moon, and the park is home to 21 different species of rodents and six species of lagomorph including a unique population of pikas.
  • The many caves at Craters provide year-round refuge for 11 species of bats. Bats are frequently seen by summer campers as they feed on gnats and other small insects.
  • Larger mammals, like mule deer and elk, must cover greater territory in order to find food and water, and they sometimes migrate to nearby mountains during the summer. Pronghorns migrate through the park in the spring and fall and are sometimes seen with newborn fawns in the spring.

Although no longer present, other mammals including bison, grizzly bears, Canada lynx, and bighorn sheep once called the area home as well.

A small, round, rodent-like animal perches on a rock.

This adorable relative of the rabbit lives at high elevations, where it collects flowers and grasses.

A tan and white pronghorn stands on a dull-colored, brushy plain.

An ancient and unique species that can be seen migrating through Craters.

A tight cluster of bats roosting inside a cave.

The caves at Craters of the Moon attract at least 11 species of bats.


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Last updated: November 5, 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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