Obscura Day 2015: Craters of the Moon - Atlas Obscura

Arco, Idaho

Obscura Day 2015: Craters of the Moon

Join us in exploring America's only officially "weird" National Park.

Composed of 1,100 square miles of lava field and home to the deepest rift on Earth, Craters of the Moon National Monument has always had a reputation for being bizarre.

From early Shoshone legends referencing an angry serpent and avenging spirits to pioneer days when the land was unflatteringly nicknamed “the Devil’s Vomit”, the harsh volcanic landscape of Craters of the Moon has long been considered strange. When President Coolidge officially declared the land a national monument in 1924, he did so noting that "... this area contains many curious and unusual phenomena of great educational value and has a weird and scenic landscape peculiar to itself...". The seemingly unearthly terrain was even used in a 1969 NASA training program, preparing astronauts for the volcanic geology to be found on the surface of the moon.

Join us this Obscura Day to explore the other-worldly landscape of America's weirdest National Park!

Saturday, May 30
Cost: FREE, but limited capacity - remember to RSVP!
Our day will start out with a 10:00am orientation offered by the park guides. After that, you are free to explore on your own before reconvening at 1:00pm for a guided cave walk.
Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes, bring a flashlight and a water bottle - there is no water access beyond the campground limits.
A Cave Permit is required for entrance to the cave, permits can be obtained free of charge at the Park's Visitor Center.

A Word About White Nose Syndrome:
To prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed over a million bats since 2005, screening is required before entering any cave on National Park Service lands.
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
-Have you visited a cave or mine since 2005?
-Do you have any items with you that entered into the caves or mines you previously visited?
(e.g., clothing, shoes, flashlights, cameras, watches, phones, etc.)
If the answer to both questions is yes, please bring gear with you which has not been exposed to other caves or mines. Cave permits will not be issued for persons using potentially contaminated gear.