North Crater Trail
With only a half-day to visit the park, there isn’t time to hike every trail. After asking a park ranger for a recommendation of the best trail, I set off on the North Crater Trail. The trail is 3.6 miles each way and offers outstanding views, close-up access to some large volcanic cones, and a few climbs for exercise.
The trail is easy to follow and consists of a well-worn path with log stairs. In some locations the trail crosses a hard lava flow and the trail is marked with steel posts.
Broken Top Loop Trail
To quickly access Buffalo Cave, hike counter-clockwise around the Broken Top Loop Trail. The entire loop is 1.8 miles.
Devil’s Orchard Nature Trail
An easy trail and only a half-mile long, this trail features a few photogenic trees, interesting rock formations, and educational interpretive signs.
The entire lava flow measures 256,000 acres. Of that, 43,000 acres is a designated Wilderness Area and a small portion is the developed area of the Craters of the Moon National Monument. This will be worth coming back for some day.