Hiking & Backpacking
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This is a rare and unique geological area of a volcanic cinder cone. The hike is fair to moderate in difficulty. There is a porta potty at the trail head, but no potable water so you will want to bring water. You can walk all the way around the rim and look down into the cone.
Deer, rabbits, lizards, birds, and other wild animals are in the area. There are some really great views from on top of the cone.
Hiking & Backpacking Reviews for North Menan Butte ("R" Mountain) Idaho
The trail now has a nice outhouse and a paved parking lot.
We walked to the top, all the way around the top ridge, down into the crater and back to the car, pedometer showed
5.5 miles total trip! It's steep going up and coming down but the view was amazing.
This was an interesting hike: an ancient volcano! It was pretty sandy with lots of lizards and even some flowers and cacti. Although a short hike, it is pretty rigorous on the way up. Once at the top, though, there are great views and easy trails all the way around, and into, the caldera. A great hike close to Idaho Falls and Rexburg!
This is more than a liesurely Sunday-afternoon nature walk (as our family found out the hard way). My wife and I used to go up the east face of the butte, which is short and easy, but requires in parts going through private property, so it's not the BLM's trail. This weekend, we ventured the BLM-maintained trail, which was much, much different.
The hike starts with a steep incline to the top with a minimal switchback. We then headed south along the rim, which involves some difficult traversing down steep rocks (at least it's difficult with little ones, so be aware). At approximately the SW point on the rim, there is a path that cuts through the basin of the cinder cone back to the NW point of the rim (this is the path we should have taken for our childrens' sakes); however, the trail continues (and is beautiful) as one continues along the rim, especially for the view to the east of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River and the city of Rexburg.
Also take note that a mile or so after you've passed through the antennas and towers, the trail is not well marked. You can find your way back, yes, but there are multiple ways of getting there since there are no clear markings.
The views all around, the plants, and the wildlife all make this hike well worth the effort. Bring plenty of water. There is little shade and you'll feel a bit like you're hiking in a desert.
We had a great time! We left the parking lot around 11:20 and returned just a bit before 2 with about a 15 min break at the top before starting around the rim. I had a nine and 10 year old, 2-13 year olds and two adults. The youngest two had a hard time traversing the first .5 mile climb and when we returned to go back down. Its a sandy path with some spots being a thin layer of sand over smooth hard rocks which can make a slippery combination. The hike around the rim was fabulous! We saw a couple of lizards and a bunny...thank goodness no rattlesnakes!!! Lots of wildflowers and blooming cacti. Great hike!! I'm sure we'll do it again sometime!!!
Oh and we saw the BLM guys about 50 of them and they are working on rerouting the trail to make it a bit easier in some spots so its not as steep and so its not a rocky.