Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Craters in the snow

The monument is a great winter playground


By EXPRESS STAFF


It’s the time of winter when Craters of the Moon northeast of Carey resembles scoops of chocolate chip ice cream, and the opportunities to play out there are nearly as sweet.
Winter Snowshoe Adventures continue Saturday, Jan. 26, and Feb. 2, 9 and 23. It’s a chance to explore a cooler side of Craters with a ranger-guided tour. Each session begins with a 30-minute classroom session followed by several hours out in the park looking for tracks and climbing a volcano. Bring a lunch; snowshoes are available. The ranger requires reservations and invites any one over age 10 who is able to complete a moderately strenuous two- to four-mile walk to join in.


Cross country skiing and snowshoeing on a groomed seven-mile loop road is open and there are no entry or user fees. Most of the snow trail follows relatively level terrain and can be completed in two to four hours. There are also snowshoe walks of 1.5 miles. Call for current conditions and stop at the visitor center for a map.


Mark the calendar for Winterfest, Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a celebration of winter with fun activities for kids of all ages. Events include snowshoe walks, cross-country skiing, snowboarding/telemarking, sledding, snow sculpting, a snow maze, winter art display/workshop and a warming fire and hot food.


To plan a visit, see www.nps.gov/crmo/planyourvisit/winter-activities.htm or call 208-527-1335.




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