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To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

London
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To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

Hi,

I want to drive to Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon monument in July and when doing a journey planner on google maps it shows a partial restricted usage road through Atomic City, could anyone tell me if possible to drive this direct route?

Thanks in advance

paul

Idaho
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1. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

You don't go through Atomic City to get there. You will head out of Idaho falls via rt 20/26 and head across the desert to the little town of Arco (about an hour drive). Take 26 (I think) in Arco and head about 20 miles to Craters of the Moon. There are signs in town - turn left at the flashing light. Since you are going in July - make sure you take plenty of water with you - it can get really hot there. It is a very interesting/weird looking place. Google maps steered your wrong on this one.

Tomah, Wisconsin
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2. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

Hi Pallanc,

The above post is mostly correct. From Craters of the Moon take Hwy20 to Arco, and then stay on Hwy20 right into Idaho Falls.

If you want some adventure, then by all means plan to stop by Atomic City - it's not far out of your way. It's got a population of about 50 people [maybe]; and there is absolutely nothing there but a bar. The bar is kinda cool, in a backcountry-hick-sort-of-way. Just think of how many of your London friends are going to be impressed when you tell them you had a beer in ATOMIC CITY!. (It sounds like something out of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Road Warrior, doesn't it?)

When Hwy20/26 splits between Arco and Idaho Falls, stay to the right on Hwy26. Stop at the Atomic City bar for a beer, and keep on Hwy26 to Blackfoot. The road is kind of a back road, but it's not dirt or gravel or anything like that.

When you get to Blackfoot, you have to stop at the Idaho Potato Expo, home of the (I'm not making this up) WORLD'S LARGEST POTATO CHIP (that'd be a Potato Crisp to you). Now your London friends are REALLY gonna be impressed. The Potato Expo will also give you food ("Free Taters to Out-of-Staters!") An opportunity like this only comes along a few times in life.

Blackfoot is only 25 miles from Idaho Falls (people commute between the two for work). So make your trip from Craters of the Moon to I.F. a particularly memorable one, and literally get off the "beaten path".

Hope you have a great trip to Idaho!

Idaho
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3. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

The most direct route from Idaho Falls to Craters of the Moon National Monument is by way of US Hwy. 20 to Arco, then continuing on US 20 southwest 18 miles to the monument Visitor Center and loop drive. Any route through Atomic City is likely to be gravel or dirt road requiring high clearance and/or four-wheel drive.

I would recommend contacting the BLM Idaho Falls District Office for a current road report on this route.

Idaho Falls District

1405 Hollipark Drive

Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401

Office Hours: 7:45 am - 4:30 pm

Information: (208) 524-7500

Fax: (208) 524-7505

London
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4. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

Dear all,

Wow, thanks for all your detailed and prompt responses.

We are actually on a bit of a road trip from Portland to Seattle via Madras, Prairie City, Boise, Crater, Idaho Falls, Jackson, Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, Sandpoint, Cascades....

I asked the question Re Highway 20 (Atomic City) because my understanding is that the shaded area on google maps could be some kind of restricted area, the 'OLD' Road Trip book I have mentions area around Atomic being the place where Atomic energy started and now used as a radioactive material dump. Sure area hopefully secure but would be a looooong way to Idaho Falls and Jackson if the 20 was closed?

I will see how 'good' time is to us but you have given me yet more activities to try and fit into our itinerary 'ParentsOf3'.

Thanks again for your posts,

Paul

Edited: 29 April 2011, 23:19
idaho
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for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
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5. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

here is a new take on your route. go from boise to banks, (dont have a map in

front of me) driving on the payetter river, past loman (hot springs), and end up in stanley...at the base of the sawtooth mountains (breathtaking, to say the least)...side trip to redfish lake, down thru ketchum/sun valley and then to craters of the moon. it would be a travesty to miss the stanley, sun valley area.

Idaho
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6. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

Sorry I misread the original post so my direction are backwards. Route 20 is the two lane highway that take you across the desert through Idaho National Laboratory which might be why it was shaded on your map.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

We just drove this route Saturday. We were visiting family in the area and hadn't been to Craters of the moon for decades. It was a fun place to visit, but still lots of snow on the trails. I was glad it wasn't the middle of the summer.

Anyway the route 20 from Idaho Falls to craters of the moon was uneventful except for the one stop in Arco at the park to see the top of an old nuclear submarine. Arco was the first town to use nuclear (or atomic) energy to light the town. I was unable to find out if they still use it.

I certainly didn't see anything else out of the ordinary, just the three big volcanic buttes that were landmarks on the Oregon trail for the Goodale Cutoff. No restricted roads or other private roads in any evidence from the main road.

We also took the road from Crater of the moon to Blackfoot (hwy 26)-- same thing, nothing to indicate at all that there was ever anything restricted.

Don't worry about it, the roads are regularly traveled.

London
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8. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

Thanks all for your posts!

You are all very helpful and certainly put my mind at rest. I think I need about 6 months to see all thats been suggested throughout my trip, unluckily for me I have no where near enough time to do everything :o(

Thanks again,

Paul

9. Re: To Idaho Falls from Craters of the moon....

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