Hi there!

 

So you want to drive from Yellowstone National Park to Craters of the Moon National Monument!

This generally means a drive from Wyoming to Idaho, or a drive from Montana to Idaho.

Or if you are just hearing about Craters of the Moon for the first time, then be sure that you see:

And more below about planning your trip to Wyoming and Idaho!

 

Driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon. national parks road trip. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.

 

So it will depend on specifically where in Yellowstone you’re coming from, but the drive from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon is around 3 to 4 hours long.

So being a 4 hour drive, this means that you can drive from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon in one day no problem, with time for a last activity in Yellowstone before you leave Wyoming and/or time for some activities in Craters of the Moon when you arrive in Idaho.

West Yellowstone MT is a popular town to stay at for a trip to Yellowstone National Park. And when your next stop is Idaho, this can be a perfect town to stay in. Driving from West Yellowstone MT to Craters of the Moon is around 3 hours and 15 minutes.

For reference, the small town near Craters of the Moon is Arco ID. The town of Arco ID has some local motels and no chain hotels. This is about a 30 minute drive from the Craters of the Moon Visitor Center.

Or, if you want to consider taking your time making your way to Craters of the Moon, you can do that too!

The best detour you can make when you’re driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon is to stop by to see some Idaho waterfalls!

 

Driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: Driving through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.

Driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: Driving through Mesa Falls Scenic Byway in Idaho. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.

Driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: Driving through Craters of the Moon in Idaho. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.

 

 

MAP: West Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon

Map of driving route from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.
Explore the map.

 

 

MAP: West Yellowstone to Mesa Falls to Craters of the Moon

Map of driving route from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: Driving through Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.
Explore the map.

 

 

Download offline maps before you go!

It’s quite possible that you will have minimal data as you are driving from Wyoming to Idaho.

It will be best to download offline google maps for the Yellowstone area of Wyoming and Montana and the Craters of the Moon area of Idaho, and everything in between before you go!

 

More below about making the drive from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon!

 

 

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Side note!
Plan more of your trip to Yellowstone and beyond:


I have a lot of 30-90 second Yellowstone videos. A few of them might be on this page. If you can't see the video directly above, it might be because you have an ad blocker. Save the Yellowstone video playlist to watch on youtube later!

You can have a perfect one day in Yellowstone driving from the west entrance and following the road down south... or entering from the south entrance and following the road up north aka driving from Grand Teton to Yellowstone!

 

 

Here is how your day (or 2 days) can look like for driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon

Stops to make on the driving route from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon. national parks road trip. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.

 

 

1. Yellowstone National Park

If you’re giving yourself the time and you are driving up from the south (aka from Grand Teton National Park), one last activity that can be perfect if you are driving up from the south through Yellowstone can be driving Firehole Lake Drive (passing by Firehole Spring and Surprise Pool) and/or walking the Fountain Paint Pots Trail.

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: driving through yellowstone in one day, firehole lake drive. wyoming to idaho

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: driving through yellowstone in one day, firehole lake drive. wyoming to idaho
👆👆 Driving through Yellowstone with a stop along Firehole Lake Drive

 

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: driving through yellowstone in one day, fountain paint pots trail. wyoming to idaho
👆 Driving through Yellowstone with a stop at Fountain Paint Pots Trail

 

 

Otherwise, if you’re staying in the town of West Yellowstone MT, you can start driving towards Craters of the Moon!

 

See more: How to spend one day in Yellowstone National Park

 

 

2. Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

So again, driving directly from West Yellowstone MT to Craters of the Moon is around 3 hours and 15 minutes. (map)

If you make a slight detour by driving the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, driving from West Yellowstone MT to Mesa Falls Scenic Byway to Craters of the Moon, then the drive time will be around 3.5 hours. (map)

And then, you’ll need to add in some extra time to actually get out and see the waterfalls. There are 2 parking areas for different views of waterfalls.

When driving in the direction of Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon along the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, first you’ll come across the Upper Falls parking area. There is a national forest fee of about $5 here. If you have an annual national park pass, that is accepted here and it will be free for you.

You can see Mesa Falls by walking a boardwalk trail maybe 10-20 minutes round trip.

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Mesa Falls to Craters of the Moon: Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, upper falls overlook trail. wyoming to idaho

 

Then from the Upper Falls parking lot, you can also start the hiking trail to Lower Falls by hiking in the forest. As you near the waterfalls, there is a steep trail and then you’ll be walking across big rocks. This would be around a 2 mile round trip hike.

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Mesa Falls to Craters of the Moon: Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, lower falls trail. wyoming to idaho

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Mesa Falls to Craters of the Moon: Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, lower falls trail. wyoming to idaho

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Mesa Falls to Craters of the Moon: Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, lower falls trail. wyoming to idaho

 

Then, you can keep driving along Mesa Falls Scenic Byway and you will come to the Lower Falls parking area. These are waterfalls that you can see with a short walk of 1 minute or so, but this is a quite distant view. There is no fee for this Mesa Falls overlook.

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Mesa Falls to Craters of the Moon: Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, lower falls overlook. wyoming to idaho

 

 

“Big” town to stay in along the way: Idaho Falls ID

If you’re looking for a city to stay at along the way from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon, there is Idaho Falls ID. This town has chain hotels and a Walmart.

West Yellowstone MT to Idaho Falls ID is around a 2 hour drive.

Idaho Falls ID to Craters of the Moon is around a 1.5 hour drive.

 

 

3. Hell’s Half Acre lava field

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Hells Half Acre to Craters of the Moon: hells half acre lava field idaho, lava rock hiking trail. wyoming to idaho

 

This requires no detour. As you are driving along the main road of US-20 from Idaho Falls to Craters of the Moon, you will come across a sign that says “lava rock hiking trail.” (map)

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Hells Half Acre to Craters of the Moon: hells half acre lava field idaho, lava rock hiking trail. wyoming to idaho

 

If you are looking for an excuse to stop and stretch your legs, you can make a stop here to get out and walk the half mile loop hiking trail across old lava flows.

You don’t need to consider this a “must-stop” since you will get your fill of lava fields once you get to Craters of the Moon.

But if you want the chance to walk across more lava fields in Idaho, you can make a stop here!

There is a shorter lava rock hiking trail of around 1 mile round trip, and there is also a longer lava rock hiking trail that will take you out further across the lava fields for several hours of hiking.

 

 

4. Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to peaks to craters scenic byway to Craters of the Moon: driving peaks to craters scenic byway idaho. wyoming to idaho

 

When you’re driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon, you will naturally end up on this road. This is basically the final road that leads to Craters of the Moon National Monument.

 

 

5. Craters of the Moon National Monument

And you have made it to Craters of the Moon!

 

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: driving through craters of the moon. wyoming to idaho

Stops to make when driving from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon: driving through craters of the moon. wyoming to idaho

 

See more about planning your Wyoming to Idaho road trip:

 

 

And those are some ideas for driving to Craters of the Moon from Yellowstone!

 

Plan more of your Wyoming road trip:

 

 

HAPPY DRIVING FROM WYOMING OR MONTANA TO CRATERS OF THE MOON!

 

Stops to make on the drive from Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon. national parks road trip. Wyoming to Idaho road trip.