Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Craters of the Moon Snowshoe 2011

Last year, Matt and I went snowshoeing in the Craters of the Moon National Monument. That was a great trip however we only visited three of the numerous summits we initially planned to visit. Thus we put together a follow-up trip this winter to allow us to visit some of the other summits.

We headed out around 5:45am and were moving by 8:45am. We started up the highest peak on our itinerary, Sunset Cone, which sits just above the visitor center. Quickly we were atop this peak and began our slow march around the park, proceeding to climb Grassy Cone, Silent Cone, "Big Crater", Inferno Cone, Paisley Cone, and finishing on North Crater. In total, we visited 6 named summits plus another unnamed point.

The weather was much better than our last visit and we had great views of Blizzard Mountain, the Pioneer Foothills, the Lost River Range, and the Snake River Plain. Snowshoeing alongside the edge of the North Crater Aa Flow was pretty interesting as was observing the hollowed out snow caused by the warmth emanating from the volcanic vents underneath the ground. The Big Craters area was the most interesting area we visited and we spent some time checking out the impressive depressions all adjacent to each other.

We were surprised how few snowshoe tracks we found... only Paisley Cone had a trail established and North Crater had a few tracks. Despite my heavy use of sunblock (see the pictures), I still managed to get a little bit of sunburn. Oh well, it was still a great day!!

Trip statistics: 7.42 miles, 2276' elevation gain, 6:26h

Craters of the Moon 2011 Pictures!
GPS Track
Matt's Trip Report


Cathy said...

Interesting pictures, especially the tree near the end of the pics. I never did get to the visitor centre so I guess I have to come back down for another visit!

zdv said...

Next time you're out here we can make it a day trip! It's a very neat area and I still haven't visited in the warmer months!