Craters of the Moon

So happy to get to this beautiful, unique part of the country this year! Truly one of the most divergent areas to visit in Idaho, if not in the United States.

Big Craters area

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve encompasses the entire Great Rift volcanic rift zone.” “It contains a huge concentration of volcanic land forms and structures along the more than 50-mile zone of fractures and eruptions.”

View north over the North Crater and Serrate Flows
View north over the Serrate and North Crater Flows
North Crater Flow
North Crater Flow

“The protected area’s features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States.” wiki

Most of the trees that grow in the area are either Juniper or limber pine which, “…is named for the flexibility of its branches that can literally be tied in a knot.” NPS

Because of many issues currently threatening these pines, the ecological health of the limber pines are monitored for mountain pine beetles, mistletoe, and white pine blister rust.

Nearby to the west is a protected area between Craters of the Moon National Monument and the Pioneer Mountains. We unfortunately didn’t see them, but this is one of the longest migration routes for pronghorn, wolverine and sage-grouse. Nature Conservancy

We were very lucky to visit during wild flower season and were able to see some very unique flowers in bloom. “The ability to grow in this harsh environment means overcoming a lack of moisture, meager soil, and surface temperatures that exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit” NPS

Sitting in the The Great Rift and the Snake River Plain (which “…stretches about 400 miles (640 km) westward from northwest of the state of Wyoming to the Idaho-Oregon border.”), this area’s environment is so unique and is surrounded by a gorgeous an amazing backdrop. wiki

Lost River Range
Lost River Range
North Crater Trail
North Crater Trail and Pioneer Mountains
Broken Top, Alpine Bitterbrush, and Juniper trunk
Broken Top, Alpine Bitter, and Juniper trunk

Visit the the park website to learn more.

If you have any questions about our experiences, don’t hesitate to ask 🌎

Great Salt Lake

I’m feeling thankful 🙏 to visit another area that I remember visiting as a child – but only vaguely since I was so young at the time.

I recall it being much, much bigger than the more recent visit; with water spanning as far as I could see in areas. But the current low waters made for a very different and fascinating experience. In fact, the Spiral Jetty earthwork/land-art isn’t even visible if the water is above about 4.2k feet (above sea level).

With the low levels, being able to walk out on the shores was very bizarre. The salty banks are sloppy, slick and sinking under foot in some spots. The heat seemed to permeate from the ooilitic sand reflecting the hot sun. But this didn’t stop some beach goers from setting up out near where the slop ended and the water began.

Its salty yet serene beauty made for an almost unearthly experience. 🌜🌎🌛

Rozel Point peninsula
Redish halophilic bacteria
Salt hole and tumbleweed 👁
Spiral Jetty
Salty tumbleweed
Beach geese
Distant lake mountains
Beach goers
Spiral Jetty

Colorado National Monument

I thought often about coming here when I was much younger than now. I remembered the idea of the geography and geology, the sight of the structures, the cliffs, the overall beauty.

This trip brought all of its beauty back in full force. The spring weather made for a cooler – almost muggy – experience; and after the rain and hail broke, and when the sun started to set…

All was right in the world. 💕 So happy to visit again.

North view over Grand Valley
Distant “Book Cliffs” & Mt. Garfield
Coke Ovens against Artists Point backdrop
Kissing Couple (L) and Grand Mesa? backdrop
Fruita, Colorado
Back side of Pipe Organs
Monument Canyon, Grand Valley and Sentinel Spire
Cold Shivers Point and Grand Valley

Colorado National Monument