Crater Butte

Elevation: 4,432 ft
Prominence: 157

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This peak is not in the book. Livingston Douglas provides additional photos as well as updated access and route information. Updated January 2023

This Snake River Plain feature is amazingly unknown to most Idahoans. While Crater Butte has only 157 feet of prominence, its massive crater is the largest that I have visited in Idaho and dwarfs anything at Craters of the Moon National Monument. There are no signs pointing out the feature. Crater Butte is located east of Shoshone, Idaho and north of Dietrich, Idaho. USGS Dietrich Butte

Crater Butte is not impressive when viewed from nearby Dietrich Butte. You have to go to the edge of the crater to experience its visual impact.

The crater is 300 feet deep and it would take a long time to walk around the rim. There was no spot where I could take a photo that would take in the entire crater. The following photo does give a bit of perspective by showing the crater’s North Wall. In addition to the access road described below, other 4WD roads circle the massive crater and descend into it. This is perfect terrain for mountain biking.

The North Wall of the crater

Livingston Douglas Updates


Drive about 0.5 miles east of Dietrich on ID-24 to [signed] 750E Road. Drive north up 750E Road for 3.5 miles to an unsigned junction with a 2-track road that heads left/west directly at Crater Butte. Park near the base of this side road, just after crossing a cattle guard (4,300 feet).

East Face, Class 2

The Climb

From the parking area, hike up an old, rutted, steep, rocky 2-track road up a headwall to a flat area and a road junction on the east edge of a large crater. Bushwhack left/south about 30 yards through sagebrush to reach the high point of Crater Butte on the east rim. There is no cairn on the summit but the view down into the large crater is magnificent.

The sagebrush-covered summit of Crater Butte. Livingston Douglas Photo

The large crater just west of the summit of Crater Butte, shown in the early-morning sunlight. Livingston Douglas Photo


Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Snake River Plain

Year Climbed: 2017

Longitude: -114.26919   Latitude: 42.95629

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