Local Area Attractions
Arco also offers hiking not only at the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Through the USDA Forest Service there are several trails to be considered. A few include Upper Iron Bog Lake and Fish Creek Summit, which are located just outside of Arco up Antelope Creek. Upper Iron Bog lake trail is partly through rough terrain. This lake is lovely to look at but doesn't have fish. Elk, deer, and grouse are noted to be a site to see here. The best time to take the trail is early July through mid-October. It is about 1.5 miles and is an easy to moderate trail. Fish Creek Summit is not only in one canyon. As you follow the trail you will come across Deer Creek Canyon as well as Horse Thief Canyon and across a rocky ridge with patches of alpine fir and lodge pole timber. Visitors will enjoy the rich bouquet of wildflowers as well as spot a few domestic sheep. This trail is about 4 miles and is an easy to moderate trail to take during the best time of the seasons beginning in July through mid-October. We also have a natural arch just behind Number Hill. Get a map at the front desk.
King Mountain offers Hang Gliding as well as Paragliding. Each of which have their own challenges. The launch site is located in nearby Moore, ID. There are three launches, two upper and one lower. The lower launch is 7,400 ft and is used more when there are strong winds because it is a wide open flat slope launch. The upper launches are at 8,100 ft and have a more restricted setup, one north and one south. The northern launch has a steep slope launch and the southern launch is more of a wide open flat slope launch that overlooks the lower launch. King Mountain hosts Hang Gliding and Paragliding championships in June each year. In 1997 King Mountain was chosen for both the World Point Finals Championships and the National Paragliding Championships.
Snake River Plain
A vast area of sagebrush and lava, this high desert is a stark contrast to the mountain ranges that border it. Most of it is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the area offers a whole new set of recreational possibilities. Visitors can camp, look at wildflowers, ride all-terrain vehicles, hunt, and explore areas such as Kings Bowl, a huge blow out in the lava caused by hot magma exploding as it contacted water just below the earth's surface.
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We invite you to explore this "weird and scenic landscape" where yesterday's volcanic events are likely to continue tomorrow... The visitor center is located off Highway 20/26/93 mid-way between Arco and Carey, Idaho. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day).
Each year around the middle of July many events take place that just can't be missed. Many of which include; parades, picnics, rodeos, quilt shows, nuclear exhibits, sidewalk sales, dancing, and much more. This weekend long eventful occasion can be enjoyed by children as well as adults and is fun for the whole family.
The Big Lost River and Pioneer Mountains
Recreational opportunities abound in the National Forest that surrounds Arco. Fishing in the Big Lost River and Mackay Reservoir, hunting for deer, elk, and other game animals in the foothills, and snowmobiling up Antelope Canyon or the Copper Basin are just a few of the activities available. Hang gliders launch off of mountain slopes, campers head for the forest, and hikers take off on trails into alpine lakes. All of this is available within a short distance of Arco.
Arco Pass Loop
ATV use in Idaho is booming. Over the past five years the registration numbers have rose from 27,700 to 55,100. In Arco you can travel the Arco Pass Loop designated as an easy riding trail for most ATVs. This loop is a ride to enjoy the scenery, geological formations, canyons, creeks, and views of incredible wildflowers during the early spring months. This loop also has a large variety of wildlife viewing such as deer, antelope, coyotes, badgers, and birds. ATV committees are working with the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to improve the trails by adding signage, creating improved detailed maps, reclaiming public lands, designating a noise park, and keeping the trails clean and accessible. Also the city of Arco wants to promote and improve the ATV system within the city limits. They are in support of ATV recreation and would like to legalize ATV riding for certain streets designed for ATVers to easily make it to their trail destination in the Big Lost River Valley and Little Lost River Valley.
Idaho is truly the Gem State. Since the origin of the earth, geologic processes combined to make the rocks of Idaho a mineral collector's storehouse. This, coupled with the beautiful forests and streams, makes Idaho the place where the rock collector's dreams come true.
There are many places on public lands throughout the state where you can find minerals, gemstones, and petrified wood. There are over 280 collectable mineral species known to occur within Idaho, including smoky quartz, pyrite, topaz, barite, garnet, epidote, and zeolites.
Idaho also has many localities where one can find semi-precious gemstones. The star garnet from the Emerald Creek area in north Idaho is perhaps Idaho’s most famous
gemstone. This locality is one of only two in the world that produce garnets with a star. Other gemstones found in Idaho include fire opal, together with many varieties of agate, jasper, and petrified wood.