With the arrival of spring this past weekend, those of us in southern Idaho will soon be noticing some pleasant, colorful changes to our region's landscape. One of the area's best spots to view the spring bloom of dozens of species of flowers happens annually 90 miles northeast of Twin Falls.

While peak wildflower viewing times at Craters of the Moon Monument and Preserve aren't for another several weeks, the process that results in the floral blossoming of more than 60 different species throughout the area has begun. At nearly 6,000 feet in elevation and spanning more than 300,000 acres, Craters of the Moon is made up primarily of sagebrush grasslands and lava fields, which makes the annual bloom somewhat of a wonderous occasion due to the harsh surroundings.

Late-April is when visitors will begin to witness the spring bloom as pink and white onion flowers will begin breaking the surface. By the end of September, a large number of species including sunflowers, snapdragons, nightshade, mustard, lily, primrose, violets, roses and cactus will have peppered the landscape providing an impressive floral display. The colorful blooms against the black lava fields makes a trip out the Craters of the Moon a unique and worthwhile experience.

The preserve currently has alerts in effect for those who are planning to visit soon. Seismic activity north of the region has resulted in the closures of caves and trails, according to the website. Areas of the preserve are also closed for maintenance and repair in anticipation of the upcoming tourist season.

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