Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
About this shoot:
"If you fail to plan; plan to fail"
The trip to Yellowstone and Craters of The Moon wasn't taken specifically for astrophotography. It was just a getaway.
Had I done some more planning, however, I probably would've chosen a night in which the Moon WASN'T 75% illuminated!
In some of the shots, you can see the fading remains of Comet Neowise below the "handle" of the Big Dipper as a green dot with a faint trail, but the light of the moon truly "washed out" most stars. I wanted to get some shots looking out of the lava tubes into the night sky, but at the time, the National Park system was undergoing a protective measure due to ongoing bat diseases and lava tubes were closed to visitors. Ah well, not every trip can go smoothly.
I will definitely be returning to both Yellowstone and Craters Of The Moon to capture better shots in the near future (Perseids Meteor Shower perhaps ?!?).
N 43° 25' 34.50" W 113° 32' 32.91"
about the site:
3 hours from Boise, Idaho and about 90 minutes from Idaho Falls or Twin Falls, Craters of The Moon National Monument is actually part of 3 huge lava fields (60 separate lave flows) covering 620 square miles! It is one of the youngest volcanic areas in Idaho and may be the most likely in the state to erupt again. Astronauts from NASA used this area to train for Lunar missions.
According to www.LightPollutionMap.info, this is a Bortle Class 1 location, although I visited during a 3/4 lighted moon, so that made very little difference.
From Las Vegas, it's a 9.5 hour drive straight up highway 93 (although you will probably want to bypass the Great Basin and take the parallel 318 through Eloy - passing by Hay Meadow Reservoir and Dacey reservoir on your way north)