Craters of the Moon Wilderness
Dare To Everywhere  .
Reviewed Jun. 7, 2021

Beautiful hike, take a map!

Stayed: 5/12/2021

Cost: FREE (Permit Required)

Site: Just shy of Echo Crater (SEE PIC)

Vehicle: Volkswagen Atlas (Parked at trailhead)

Equipment: Tent

AT&T and T-Mobile: No Service

We were very excited for this hike and dispersed stay. It’s just under 4 miles one way and you must get a free permit from the visitor center to enter the Wilderness area at Craters of the Moon. Unforutanley, we didn’t have an NPS Park Ranger, and we didn’t get as much info as we were hoping while getting our permit. With that, we were relying on the basic park map and previous research to find our way to Echo Crater, the main place to camp.

Take the scenic drive through the entire park until you get to the parking lot and trailheads for 'Tree Molds', 'Broken Top' and 'Wilderness'. From the 'Tree Molds' trailhead, follow the sidewalk that loops back around the parking lot, and look for the sign for the 'Wilderness Trail' (it's a small one and a few steps into the trail - see pic).

I highly suggest using a GPS or more detailed map, to make sure you make it to the crater. We thought we were there, but after getting back to service and pulling up the satellite image, we were just shy of actual Echo Crater (see the map picture for more detail). The sights are stunning, both during the day and night, and both on the hike in and the hike out. No fires are permitted, so make sure to bring a stove. We saw some wildlife, but nothing that was bothersome, or an issue. Also, it definitely gets chilly at night.

However, the trail and hike are absolutely beautiful and very much worth the trek. We only stayed for the one night, but would love to return and actually make it to Echo Crater next time around!


  • Map of the Echo Crater area and where we actually stayed.
  • Beautiful night skies.
  • From the parking lot, follow the sidewalk around and look for this sign.
  • Stunning views along the hike, both going in and going out.
  • Stunning views along the hike, both going in and going out.
  • This gives you an idea of a majority of the hike, at least passed the rugged lava beds. Very flat and easy terrain along the long stretch.
  • Our site setup next to a tiny crater.
  • An overview of the area we setup camp. The trail is directly behind us.
  • We saw some wildlife. Something was around our tent in the middle of the night, but no issues.
  • Great area for stargazing.
  • The never-ending unique landscape of the hike in and out.
Month of VisitJune