Just an FYI – If you want to see Yellowstone in the summer – book it far, far, far in advance. Otherwise, be like us and trust that God will open a door if it’s in the Master plan. I called at least 10 campgrounds near West Yellowstone, all were full. A couple hours later, one of the campground owners called me back to let me know there just been a cancellation for the two days that we requested. God is good!
We left Caldwell not a minute too soon. We had actually planned to stay there for 2 days, because we had the time. By bedtime last night, we knew that wasn’t going to happen! Today was a grey, cloudy day for travel – even the mountains looked hazy.
Our guidebook described Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. It sounded intriguing and neither of us were familiar with it. I started looking for campgrounds around Arco, ID; and was striking out left and right. As usual, found one with one sight that would fit us, and was 20 minutes from Craters. We checked in to the campground around 1430 hrs. and set everything up. The campground staff was warm and welcoming – the campground clean, and easily accessible for large units. Maybe we’ll give ID another chance! Did you know that Arco, ID was the first city in the world to be lit by atomic power?
We set off to explore Craters of the Moon. This place is a gem! If you are ever headed to Yellowstone or Grand Teton – make sure you catch Craters. Plan at least a day – wear hiking shoes, gloves are a good idea, bring water and snacks. There are several nice picnic areas in the park, and a campground (probably best for smaller units). We hiked 4 miles, with an elevation gain of about 700 ft, and elevation loss of about 750 ft. I’ll add some pictures – but they don’t do the place justice. You will get dusty and dirty, and the surfaces are pretty hard on shoes.
After exploring, we went to Pickle’s Place for a late dinner (we were there at 2100 hrs, they are open until 2200 hrs.). Another great place to check out – food was tasty, quick, and hot – and the server was a sweetheart.
Miles traveled: 214 today/ trip total 3213.
Arco/Craters of the Moon KOA: https://koa.com/campgrounds/craters-of-the-moon/
Craters of the Moon: https://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm
Pickle’s Place: http://www.picklesplacerestaurant.com/