North Crater by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 6,244 ft
Prominence: 214

The large summit cairn atop the high point of North Crater in Craters of the Moon National Monument. Snow-clad Blizzard Mountain is in the distance. Livingston Douglas Photo

This peak is not in the book. Published December 2019


Date of Climb: May 31, 2019

North Crater is more of a rocky outcrop/hill than a crater. Given the off-trail prohibitions on its North Side, the best access is via its South Side in combination with a multi-peak scramble of Big Craters and Silent Cone. USGS Inferno Cone

The large summit cairn atop the high point of North Crater. Snow-clad Blizzard Mountain is in the distance. Livingston Douglas Photo

The large summit cairn atop the high point of North Crater. Snow-clad Blizzard Mountain is in the distance. Livingston Douglas Photo

South Face/Southwest Ridge, Class 2

Access

Drive up the Craters of the Moon NM Loop Road to the parking pullout for the Inferno Cone “trail.” Park here (6,040 feet). This climb is part of a multi-peak endeavor including Big Craters, Silent Cone, North Crater, and Paisley Cone. This route is the next leg of a traverse from Silent Cone to North Crater.

The Climb

From the 6,070-foot saddle, briefly follow the North Crater Trail northward. Leave the trail to skirt around the Northwest Shoulder of Big Craters to reach the base of the Southwest Face of North Crater. Scramble up very loose lava gravel to reach the more stable terrain of the Southwest Ridge. Cruise up the easy Southwest Ridge on lava gravel to reach the rocky summit of North Crater. The expansive summit area has two cairns, one of which is on the high point. The high point is located on the west side of the south end of the summit plateau. It overlooks the steep West Face of North Crater.

East Face, Class 2+

Access

Same as for the South Face/Southwest Ridge Route. This route is the next leg of a traverse from North Crater to Paisley Cone.

The Descent

From the summit, descend E on gravel then grass/scrub then blocks of lava to reach the gentle gravel saddle at the base of the Northwest Ridge of Paisley Cone. This is the base of the East Face of North Crater and concludes this leg of the journey.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Snake River Plain

Longitude: -113.56329   Latitude: 43.45149

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