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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
Southeast Region

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Nearest Town: Arco
Site Size: 754,862 acres

Highlights: Raptors, Shorebirds, Songbirds, Upland Birds, Waterbirds, Waterfowl

Access: Seasonal gate closure-site still accessible. Admission Fee. Handicapped Access free of charge

Site Location

Directions: From Arco, US 93 SW for 18 mi; turn S into Monument at mp 230 off US 93; visitor center is directly on L; drive 7 mi loop to bird; hike trails for additional birding.

Description: A sea of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush characterizes this "weird and scenic landscape" known as Craters of the Moon. There are also numerous dirt road access points and trailheads. These are seasonally impassable so please call or stop at the visitor center for more information. Birds are some of the most noticeable animals at Craters of the Moon. Even in the heat of a summer afternoon or the bitter cold of a Jan morning, Common Raven and Clark’s Nutcracker can be seen in many areas of the monument. To date, 207 species have been sighted at the Monument and Preserve. Birds such as Brewer’s and Sage Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, and Greater Sage-Grouse are found in much higher numbers than in similar areas with more human activity. Utah and Rocky Mountain juniper and limber pine stands growing in cinder gardens and kipuka areas (islands of vegetation surrounded by lava) offer habitat to woodpeckers, flycatchers, chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, sparrows, and finches. Even the more barren lava flows provide shelter for Mountain Bluebird, Violet-green Swallow, and Rock Wren.

More Information:
NPS (208) 527-3257
Butte County Chamber of Commerce (208)527-8977

Black-capped Chickadee
Photo Copyright Michael Woodruff
Common Raven
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
Craters of the Moon
Photo Copyright Thad Roan

General Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneNo BoardwalkCampgroundNo Picnic AreaNo Observation AreaVisitor CenterInterpretive Material AvailableNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsHiking TrailsHuntingNo FishingNo Water SportsNo OHV/ATVs AllowedHorseback Riding

Handicapped Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneNo BoardwalkCampgroundNo Picnic AreaNo Observation AreaVisitor CenterNo Interpretive MaterialsNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsHiking Trails
What do these icons mean?

lava Graph illustrating 50% 50%
other Graph illustrating 20% 20%
sage/shrub Graph illustrating 30% 30%

Best Observation Times
Bird Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec AM/PM
Raptors N N N Y Y Y Y Y N N N N ALL
Shorebirds N N N N N N N N N N N N
Songbirds N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N AM
Upland Birds N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N ALL
Waterbirds N N N N N N N N N N N N
Waterfowl N N N N N N N N N N N N
Target Species for this Site

Select a species from the list to view other sites on the Idaho Birding Trail Sites this species may be observed.

    Blackbirds and alliesChickadees and TitmouseCorvidsFinches and alliesGeese, Swans and DucksGoatsuckersGrouse and TurkeyHawks and EaglesHummingbirdsKinglets and GnatcatcherLarkOwlsPigeons and DovesSparrows and alliesStarlingSwallowsTanagersThrashersThrushesTyrant FlycatchersWood WarblersWoodpeckersWrens and Dipper


    R - Resident 1 - Abundant, easily found s - Statewide
    M - Migrant 2 - Common, but sometimes difficult to find e - Southeast
    W - Winter 3 - Uncommon or local w - Southwest
    S - Summer 4 - Rare or very local c - Central
    5 - Casual, 3-10 accepted records p - Panhandle (North)
    6 - Accidental, 1-2 accepted records
    7 - Experimental
    (B) - Documented breeding evidence(End) - Threatened or Endangered
    (b) - Circumstantial breeding evidence(Int.) - Introduced species

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