Sand Butte WSA is composed of an older lava flow covered by wind-deposited soils. Sand Butte is the most prominent feature of the WSA. The Butte is an excellent example of a maar crater, formed by a violent explosion caused by the rapid generation of steam when erupting magma contacted ground water. The cone is surrounded by a ring of ejected volcanic material and a portion of the crater's interior is covered by a broken lava lake. Overall, the cone appears to be a natural sand amphitheater.

Visitation Information

In Idaho, BLM manages nearly 21,000 acres of public lands in the Sand Butte Wilderness Study Area. The area's large size, remoteness and variety in topographic relief provide for outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation. Recreation opportunities include camping, hiking, hunting, sightseeing, photography, caving and nature study. The scenic Sand Butte Crater is the primary destination point for visitors to the area.

Visitor Advisory

This remote WSA is accessed via rough, unmaintained two-track roads. Visitors should be prepared for rugged backcountry driving and hiking.