I have never been to a campground like this. Considering all they have to work with are rocks, it is a good campground right next to the visitor center. The only reason I'm giving it 3 stars is because it's just not my style. Don't be expecting Idaho streams and trees. You are truly in a remote area here at Craters of the moon. I highly suggest going down in the caves where you can crawl in the lava tubes. If you are planning on camping here in the summer, be prepared for extreme dry heat.
We were looking for an overnight stay while traveling through Idaho. We didn't arrive until 5pm and were certain the campground would be full. Much to our surprise it was not full but we were not told how many sites were available so pretty much took the first site we saw. It was a huge site for our little rig but we grabbed it anyway. We enjoyed visiting the park in the evening and having it almost entirely by ourselves. We also had a little time in the morning to catch some areas we missed the night before and also had this time to ourselves. Had we not stayed in the park I'm not sure we would have had time to visit on our way (20miles) to the next nearest campground. The park is fascinating and worth the drive.
Holy Cow! It really was like camping on the moon(except the wind) or on a volcano. This is a barren place due to the volcanic nature of the land, but it was very pretty and the campground was set up in an almost ingenious way to provide privacy for most sites. There were essentially two loops, but the loops had lots of twists and turns and ups and downs in order to squeeze in the most number of sites with the most privacy. I ended up with a deep site where I could set my tent up between some lava rocks to get some semblance of a wind break. From inside my tent I could not see any other sites(which was really nice), but I could see my neighbors from my picnic table. No fires are allowed(which I found interesting since we were camped on a lava flow), and there are no showers(someone told me that maybe I could get a shower at the KOA in Arco, but I didn’t bother). In fact, water is somewhat restricted- there were signs stating RV’s could not fill up, but all were welcome to fill personal water jugs. Even the dish washing station was closed at the restrooms. Speaking of which, the restrooms had flush toilets and sinks with cold water and were fairly clean if a bit outdated. Definitely get some hiking in while you are here. There is a nice trail from the campground that connects to the North Crater Flow trail, and if you have some stamina climb the Inferno Cone for great views(watch the ground for cinders that look like glass!). Get a permit at the visitors center to go into the lava tube caves(its free but required). I only hiked in Indian Cave as I wasn’t comfortable with the pitch black dark of Boy Scout and Beauty Caves by myself. Definitely check out the town of Arco, the first in the nation to be powered by nuclear energy. Not far from Arco is the nuclear power plant, decommissioned, where you can take a free tour. Back at the campground there is one last important note- you have to pay the electronic ranger for your campsite, and NO cash is accepted. Only credit cards.
I loved this campground we showed up in the early afternoon on a Thursday and they had plenty of spots still available. You are completely immersed into the lava landscape at this campground I really enjoyed it. The sites were nice size bathrooms were very clean lots of families and friendly people. A must if you are in Idaho. Note: if you plan to walk through any of the caves you need to visit the visitor center to get a permit.
Located right by the entrance station, this campground has 42 sites, with only a select number suitable for large RVs or 5th wheels(although we encountered a large RV coming toward us that necessitated us backing into an empty site)! It was very windy the day we were here but don’t know if that is typical. Flush toilets but no showers; typical of national park campgrounds. No hookups or dump station. Sites are surrounded by lava rocks; some were very nice but others not as much (sites 1-5 are right by (and I mean RIGHT BY) the entrance station). Sites 34, 35, 42, and 3 are fully accessible and site 34 has an electrical outlet for use by those with medical needs. Open April-November, weather dependent but water only available in peak months. Limited to no cell service (Verizon). $15 during peak season (half price for senior pass holders and when there is no water). No fee during April and November if open.
Dry camp, first come first served. An official dark sky location. Great for star gazing.
This is what you would expect in the wilderness of Idaho! A unique location, and an experience worth having!
Please obey posted fire safety warnings as Idaho is plagued by enough man made wildfires each year!
Have fun and leave no trace!
Scenic and cool campsite smack in the middle of the lava beds of Craters of the Moon National Monument. Interesting information center within a quick walking distance with lots of national park rangers and activities.
Campsites are pretty small, but many are surrounded by LAVA. That said, very little shade, so if it’s the summer, it will be very hot.
Water, toilets, all available. RVs allowed but no hook-ups. No fire pits, but they do have charcoal grills available.
Very cool lava flow hikes and formations all around.
Camping at Craters of the moon is like camping… on the moon
There's a surreal quality to the place. Driving up the change in terrain is enough to make you speechless. Sleeping here is even better. Great atmosphere and sites and the visitor center is informative.