Craters of the Moon

The stars shine brightly at Craters of the Moon Natural Monument in Idaho. Craters of the Moon was recently designated an International Dark Sky Park due to its phenomenal stargazing. 

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve has a busy summer planned for visitors, from touring the lava tubes to viewing the night sky to harnessing the power of the sun.

In addition to several special events, the park offers daily ranger-guided walks and talks. Find a detailed schedule at:

Here’s a look at the special events planned for this summer:

Astronomy programs: Featuring short presentations followed by viewing opportunities through the park’s telescope, are offered from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. Visitors should bring a chair or blanket, dress warmly and bring a flashlight. 

American Solar Challenge: University teams from across the nation will make a stop at Craters as they drive their solar-powered vehicles across the country. The teams will stop in Arco from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19 at Butte County High School). People can view the cars and learn more about scientific research with displays about space science, dark skies, and the Oregon Trail. The cars will then head to Craters on July 20, where they will hit the road from the Devil’s Orchard trailhead at 9 a.m.

Full moon hike: Visitors can explore Craters under a full moon from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 27. A Craters news release said cooler temperatures make this moderate, 1-mile evening hike pleasant. Visitors should wear sturdy shoes, and bring snacks, water, and a light jacket. Reservations are required; call 208-527-1335 or email

Star party: Experts from the Idaho Falls Astronomical Society will help visitors experience the universe under Craters’ naturally dark skies Aug. 3-4. Telescopes will be set up in the Caves Area parking lot for viewing the stars and planets. Dress warmly and bring flashlights.

For more information on Craters, visit