Dogs No Dogs
Commonly Backpacked · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
A few caveats:
1. Bring a gallon of water a day per person minimum as none is available to treat or filter.
2. Check the weather—it's the desert.
3. An entrance fee to the Monument and Preserve is required (credit cards are accepted).
4. Backcountry permits are required to camp in the area. Check in the visitor center to obtain a free one.
The trail en route to the Wilderness Trail starts from the Tree Molds Parking Area at the southern end of the road in Craters of the Moon. Follow the signs for the Broken Top loop and exclaim joy when the pavement ends quickly and you are running through lava flows. Marvel at the otherworldly beauty of lava rock that cooled in ways that allow you to see the flow. Discuss what causes the iridescent sheen on some of the rocks with your friend, or yourself. I don't judge. The trail is easy to follow and when it passes on to the lava flows themselves and leaves the dirt behind, there are plentiful and easy-to-locate metal posts to guide you.
After 0.6 miles you'll reach the junction with the Wilderness Trail. Follow it to the right and wander around the side of Big Cinder Butte, then down between Coyote Butte and Crescent Butte, where you'll get your first glimpse of Echo Crater and The Sentinel and Watchman beyond.
Flora & Fauna
Marmots, succulents, sagebrush, limber pine, coyotes, all manner of birds, and chipmunks can be found here.
Shared By: Bryce Jenkins