Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
No
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
No
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.

On a drive through Craters of the Moon you'll see many distinct volcanic features, including lava flows and various types of volcanoes. Though not as stark on the landscape as the large cinder cones, the splatter cones are a breed of volcano you won't want to miss. These are essentially volcanoes in miniature. In just a short walk you can view the formations from almost every angle, including staring straight down into them.

According to signage at the trailhead, the splatter cones were formed in eruptions about 2100 years ago. As viscous lava bubbled up in spots, it splattered down and cooled into mounds. Less formidable than the blasts that made the full-blown volcanoes, these heaves of molten rock made cones about 30 feet tall. You'll find a handful of splatter cones in a loose cluster, with paths leading up two of them. On these two you can step right into the mouth of the crater, and stare it down the throat, imagining how fire once spewed from these black holes in the ground.

By looking at the lava rocks up close, you'll notice their structure seems stacked or piled up like gobs of dough, evidence of the "splatter" that created them. These rocks are fragile, and the cones have actually been worn down by foot erosion over the years. That's why it's important to stay only on the paved paths. You can also pause to read signs that explain more about the splatter cones' formation and their history. In this location is the trailhead for North Crater as well, so you could tack the splatter cones onto the beginning or end of a longer hike if you wish.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open from

April 01 to November 30

Pros

View into a volcano. Easy and accessible.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Historically significant
Geologically significant
Wildflowers
Big vistas

Location

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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