Craters gearing up for winter fun

Snow school Courtesy Craters of the Moon

The staff at Craters of the Moon National Monument is gearing up for a busy winter season.

As snow piles up the loop drive is closed to automobile traffic and groomed for skiing and snowshoeing. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed Christmas day and New Year’s Day).

Visit nps.gov/crmo/planyourvisit/winter-activities.htm for maps and current conditions.

Here’s a look at Craters’ winter offerings, with descriptions from a Craters news release:

Cross-country skiing / snowshoeing

When: Mid-December through February (depending on snow conditions)

The 7-mile loop road will be groomed for skiing as snow pack allows and there are no entry or user fees. Most of the Winter Trail follows relatively level terrain and can be completed in 2-4 hours. There are also excellent opportunities for snowshoeing throughout the park including our 1.5 mile Snowshoe Loop Trail. Please note that pets are not permitted on any of our trails.

Snowshoe Walk

When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays in January and February

Explore a cooler side of Craters of the Moon on a ranger-guided snowshoe walk. The day begins with a short introduction to the winter environment followed by a fun loop through the park on snowshoes. Look for tracks and climb a volcano on this 2-mile trek. Snowshoes are available for no charge, but donations are accepted. The walk is open to anyone 10 and older and reservations are required. Group snowshoe walks are also scheduled for the same Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 208-527-1335 or email crmo_information@nps.gov to sign up.

Snow School

When: Tuesday through Friday in January and February

Bring your students to Craters for an educational snowshoe trek. Snowshoe with a ranger and learn about how wildlife adapts to winter conditions. There are enough snowshoes for about 30 students, and the walks are suitable for third-graders and up. Contact the park at 208-527-1332 for more information or to schedule a field trip. Transportation assistance is available. Visit nps.gov/crmo/learn/education/classrooms/snowschool.htm to learn more about Snow School.

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