Great Rift Expedition
Contact: Ted Stout, 208-527-1330
A Journey through the Idaho Wilderness
So began Robert Limbert's historic crossing of Southern Idaho's Great Rift in 1920. Hiking with his friend Walter Cole and Teddy, an Airedale terrier, they followed the lava fields from south to north over a period of 17 days. He shared his adventures "Among the Craters of the Moon" in a 1924 edition of National Geographic magazine. This article highlighted this little known region and ultimately led to the creation of Craters of the Moon National Monument by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.
Fifty years ago Congress initiated a process by which wild and undeveloped areas on federal lands could be preserved with passage of the Wilderness Act. Congress designated new wilderness areas mostly within National Forests for the first 6 years of the act. In 1970, in recognition of the exceptional qualities of the northern portion of the Great Rift, Congress designated the Craters of the Moon National Wilderness Area, the first official wilderness in a national park unit. Since that time, most of the other young lava fields along the Great Rift have also been recommended to Congress for wilderness designation. In 2000 these Wilderness Study Areas were included within an expanded monument.
During the week of April 11-17 look for updates and images on the Craters of the Moon Facebook page to vicariously experience this monumental journey through the Idaho wilderness.