Who would ever think you find wildflowers on the moon, but that is exactly the landscape you will experience while visiting Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. In fact, this is where the astronauts practiced in 1969 for their moon mission.
We have previously talked about this part as a possible winter destination, but it is quite beautiful in the spring. We recently visited in June and we could not believe the number of wildflowers. They were everywhere.
We especially liked the Monkeyflower with its tiny pink petals that seemingly spring right out of the cinders.
They were so thick in places it looked like a pink carpet.
All of the flowers are delicate, especially Butterballs. They are mainly whitish-yellow, but some were pink and others had a combination of both colors.
Hiking along the Wilderness Trail, there were tons of Monkeyflower and Butterballs, plus tiny Bitterroot. That’s the state flower of Montana and we could understand why they chose this very beautiful wildflower.
Although most of the wildflowers were white, yellow and pink, every now and then there would be a brilliant blue popping up – that was Royal Penstemon.
On our walk it seemed that we were walking in ocean of color. There were really too many flowers to name, although we have found a great app that helps you identify flowers and plants (PictureThis). All you do is take a photo in the app and it gives you the name.
Craters of the Moon
When you think of Craters of the Moon, you may think of cinder cones and lava rock.
This landscape is so harsh, but for a few short weeks it is bursting with color. Look closely and you will see the life is slowly returning to this barren landscape. Growing in pockets of moisture…
and eventually creating a fresh, new, beautiful environment with grasses, shrubs and trees. It is great to see how the earth left to its own recovers.
Are you trying to visit all the National Parks or National Park Units?
If your goal is to visit them, one or all, we’d love to help you strategize. Give us a call at (480) 609-3978 or drop us a note here. We always enjoy talking with people who share our passion for visiting these gems of the National Park Service.