Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
160.00 ft (48.77 m)
Trail type
1.90 mi (3.06 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Broken Top Loop is one of the best trails in Craters of the Moon National Monument to really get an up-close look at lava flows. The trail loops around a cinder cone created when a nearby vent spouted lava containing a high amount of gases. When the lava fell, it accumulated and formed this hill.

The north side of this loop (clockwise from the trailhead) cuts across the slope of Broken Top and offers more distant views of a large flow and an area called the Big Sink, which is a collapsed area of lava. As the trail winds around the cinder cone, it enters one of the youngest lava flows in the park and has terrific close-up views of the many shapes the molten lava takes as it cools. There is an area of the lava tubes called the Buffalo Caves, which can be explored with a permit from the visitor center.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Great views of lava flows. Lava cave.



Trailhead Elevation

5,800.00 ft (1,767.84 m)


Big vistas
Geologically significant


Nearby Adventures

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Craters of the Moon National Monument


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