For enthusiasts of Idaho history and the outdoors, there is a volcanic crater located just over an hour's drive west of Twin Falls where visitors can hike down into it and even handle volcanic rocks that cooled more than two million years ago.

Crater Rings is a natural landmark that resulted from a volcanic eruption that left a 300-foot deep, 3,000-feet wide hole in the Earth near Mountain Home, Idaho. Visitors can explore at their own risk the massive impact sight that left volcanic debris scattered throughout the region of southwestern Idaho.

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I've kayaked and hiked throughout the Mountain Home area but never heard of Crater Rings until recently. Mountain Home Air Force Base is located 23 miles southwest of the site. There's information online that claims people can camp in the area, and the crater is so large that visitors can keep a good distance between each other.

Google Maps apparently doesn't work well when attempting to locate the site, so you'll want to avoid mapping its location with GPS. Cinder Butte Road is the route to take, and four-wheel drive isn't necessary when traveling there, according to wildwesttrails.co. A short hike to the crater is required after locating a parking spot, as visitors cannot drive directly to the crater's rim.

To put the depth of the crater into perspective, the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls is only about 180 feet taller when comparing the blast site's floor to the rim. The oldest known crater in Idaho was caused by an asteroid 600 million years ago and shares a border with Montana.

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