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BLM>Idaho>Programs>Planning>Travel Management>Craters of the Moon >Management Zones
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Shoshone Field Office

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve Travel Management

Management Zones

Management zone map with zone descriptions


Basic Concept
The frontcountry zone is defined by structures and grounds provided for visitor support services such as information, education, and recreation. Access will be easy and convenient, and the encounter rate very high. High maintenance and intervention will be required to accommodate concentrated visitor use. Challenge and adventure is less important compared to other zones. Zone corridor will be 660 feet wide along roads.
The passage zone is intended to accommodate the flow of people and vehicles from one place to another and to provide minimal accommodations such as parking, trailheads, primitive campsites, and information kiosks or signs for people preparing to venture into the Primitive and/or Pristine Zones of the Monument. Where the zone is only a narrow corridor following a road (660 feet wide), the expectation is that a particular road will be maintained to a consistent standard along the length of the corridor, normally a Class B or Class C road from one end of the corridor to the other.
The primitive zone provides an undeveloped, primitive and self-directed visitor experience, while accommodating motorized and mechanized access on designated routes. Facilities will be rare and provided only where essential for resource protection. 
The pristine zone includes mostly lava flows, designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. This zone provides an undeveloped, primitive, and self-directed visitor experience, generally without motorized or mechanical access. Facilities will be virtually nonexistent.
Visitor Experience
High chance for encounters with people.
Medium chance for encounters with people.
Low chance for encounters with people.
High chance for solitude.
Travel on paved, improved, or maintained roads.
Travel on higher level of road maintenance than the Primitive Zone.
Travel on low-standard roads with challenging driving conditions.
Travel involves challenging driving conditions and no roads.
Developed campgrounds.
Rustic, designated campsites.
No developed campsites; dispersed primitive camping.
No developed campsites; dispersed primitive camping.
A high level of interpretation programs; informational exhibits.
Limited interpretation, wayside exhibits.
Minimal on-site interpretation.
No on-site interpretation.
Diverse trail system, some paved.
Multiuse, maintained, and designated trails.
Low-standard multiuse trails with little or no maintenance.
Very few trails.
Low chance for encounters with livestock or associated developments.
High chance for encounters with livestock or associated developments.
Medium chance for encounters with livestock or associated developments.
Low chance for encounters with livestock or associated developments.
High level of contact with agency staff.
Low to moderate level of contact with agency staff.
Very low level of contact with agency staff.
Essentially no contact with agency staff.
Typical visitor activities: sightseeing, driving, bicycling, walking, nature study, ranger-led programs, camping, and picnicking.
Typical visitor activities: driving, sightseeing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and dispersed camping.
Typical visitor activities require self-sufficiency: hiking, hunting, horseback riding, mountain biking, remote camping, and driving on unimproved roads.
Typical visitor activities require self-sufficiency and involve challenge, risk, and adventure: dispersed camping, backpacking, nature study, and hunting.
Access and Kinds of Development
Paved roads and high-standard gravel roads.
Class B-D roads. Some arterial roads would be regularly maintained to allow seasonal car, SUV, light truck passage.
Class C-D roads. Dirt roads, accessible seasonally only with high-clearance vehicles and OHVs.
No roads.
Hardened and maintained pedestrian trails.
Trailheads; maintained motorized and non-motorized trails.
Low standard multiuse trails.
Very few trails; no motorized trails.
Frequent signs for directions, safety, and interpretation.
Signs for directions, safety, resource protection, and interpretation.
Minimal signs for visitor safety and resource protection only.
Very few signs.
Offices, utilities, maintenance facilities, storage areas, visitor center, employee housing, and restrooms.
Minimal administrative structures, vault toilets
No buildings.
No buildings.