Pikas are commonly found in rock outcrops and talus slopes in high elevations above 5,000 feet. Pikas occur in this habitat throughout western North America from British Columbia to the southern end of the Great Basin, including the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Where to See Them at Craters
At Craters of the Moon, they make their home in the lava fields, using the broken lava for shelter. They can occasionally be heard and seen along the Loop Road and campground, where their high-pitched alarm whistles will often be heard before they are seen.
During the warmest summer months, they are most active at dawn and at dusk, unlike mountain pikas, which are active during the day.
The National Park Service (NPS) monitors pika populations within the monument and preserve to determine their abundance and distribution. This is done using a noninvasive technique of observing and collecting pika scat to determine where the pikas live. Along with providing information on the location of pika populations, pika scat may also provide valuable information in terms of genetics, diet, and reproduction.
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
An isolated population of pikas lives on the lava at Craters of the Moon. Scientists are monitoring them closely to determine how they will fare in a changing climate.
Last updated: January 5, 2023