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Craters of the Moon

15,000 years ago Idaho was shaped by volcanoes, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a fascinating glimpse into the past with a vast landscape of hardened lava flows and tubes scattered with cinder cones and sagebrush. The landscape may seem barren, but there is a large population of rodents and birds there. Calvin Coolidge described the park as "a weird and scenic landscape peculiar to itself." While it may not look exactly like the moon, Apollo 14 astronauts used it to prepare for their lunar expedition in 1969.

Today visitors can take the Loop Road to most of the interesting sites, including the North Crater Flow, Devil's Orchard, Inferno Cone, the Tree Molds, and even lava tube caves. Craters of the Moon is located about 178 miles (286km) west of Boise.

Website: www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm

Opening times: Craters of the Moon is open year-round. The Visitors Centre is open daily 8am-4:30pm, with extended hours in summer.

Admission: $8 per vehicle, visitors entering on foot or by bicycle are $4 each. Children 15 and under are free.