So underneath the ground here the ground was shifting and lava came up and caused all these balsa rocks to come up. When molten lava advances into a forest trees are engulfed in a river of molten rock The trees burn releasing stored water as a stream the stream cools the lava enough to leave an impression of the wood so this is called a lava bomb because there’s something really hot inside – lava – and And it gets thrown into the air, and it gets this hard crust around it then when it lands it kind of explodes. Harsh unexpected landscapes of fast lava flows Volcanic craters and massive cinder cones that seem unearthly in their stark form Craters of the moon national monument and preserve captures the awesome geologic forces that were active here only 2,000 years ago As a lunar rager I promise I promise to protect our national parks I will continue to learn about our earth and our stars. I will never never never litter. And I will tell my friends about about my trip to the moon. So cinder cones form when gas rich volcanic froth erupts high into the air and then piles into a mound Climb inferno cone if you wish but don’t be disappointed if you’re unable to locate the source of the eruption at the top These cinders were actually blown by the wind and possibly squirted in this direction from the vent far below near the spatter cones parking lot We’re about to climb to the top of a volcanic cone. I’m super excited. I found these. They are beaming bright in the sun! So this trail crosses a lava field punctuated by cave entrances the caves are actually Lava tubes where hot streams of lava drained away and portions of ceilings collapsed Small openings in front of you are lava tubes. The lava rivers became lava when the exterior of flow cools allowing hot fluid lava To continue to flow beneath the surface so this is a photo from Hawaii that shows a modern example of the lava tube formation here. We’re inside a cave that used to be filled with lava. There were supposed to be bats out here, but we’re still gonna listen and see this is still amazing it looks like that part collapsed There are a couple different lava tunnels that you can hike through here at Craters of the Moon this one’s nice for kids because it’s fully lit So you don’t have to have a flashlight to go through But there are some caves that are dark that you need a flashlight for and if you get a permit They’ll tell you which ones to go for and you can actually find bats So we’re trying to be real quiet and listen to see if we can see or hear any bats today in this cave. Bats!