Winter?s snows accentuate the jagged black lava creating a landscape of dramatic contrasts. Although the loop drive is closed to automobile travel in winter, there are several excellent options for exploring the monument in winter?
Visitor Center: Daily from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., except for winter holidays View exhibits and short audio-visual presentations to learn more about your national monument. There are also publications on sale in our book store about the cultural and natural history of the park and the region.
Cross-country Skiing/ Snowshoeing: Usually mid-December thru February Recent snows have provided an excellent base for winter recreation. The 7 Mile Loop Drive is groomed for skiing as snow pack and staffing allows. Most of the Loop Drive follows relatively level terrain and can be completed in 2 to 4 hours. There are also excellent opportunities for snowshoeing throughout the park.
Winter Ecology Workshops: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday January 14, 21, 28 and February 11 and 18 Explore a different side of Craters of the Moon on a Ranger guided winter ecology snowshoe walk and workshop. The workshop starts with a 45-60 minute classroom session followed by several hours out in the park on snowshoes. Snowshoes are available for use and there is no charge for these events. Reservations are required and participants need to be at least 10 years of age for this moderately strenuous walk. Call early to sign up for these popular excursions at 208-527-3257.
SnowSchool: Wednesdays and Thursdays in Jan. and Feb. Bring your students to Craters for a mini winter ecology lesson including a 1 mile ranger led snowshoe trek near the Visitor Center. We have enough snowshoes for about 30 students and the walks are suitable for fourth graders and up. Call the park at (208) 527-3257 for more information or to schedule a class visit. After registering for a SnowSchool visit we will provide you with detailed information on what to wear and bring. In preparation for your visit attendance at the SnowSchool Educators? Workshop listed below is highly recommended.
Snowshoes have been provided for student use through a generous donation from the Winter Wildlands Alliance. For more information about SnowSchools including winter oriented lesson plans and snow science activities visit the SnowSchool website at: www.snowschool.org
SnowSchool Educators Workshop: Jan. 6-7 During this 2 day workshop strategies for incorporating aspects of local geology and winter ecology into the classroom are explored in our on-site auditorium and on snowshoe walks in the field. College credit is available for teachers through the Sawtooth Science Institute (SSI). For more information contact SSI at 208-788-9686 or visit their website at: imnh.isu.edu/ssi
Weather and road conditions may change rapidly in winter so visitors should be prepared with appropriate gear for winter recreation as well as the proper equipment for winter driving conditions. Call ahead for updates on weather and snow conditions at (208)527-3257 or take a look at the snow via ?Crater-Cam? at: www.nps.gov/crmo