Every winter, Craters of the Moon transforms into a black-and-white winter wonderland, with dark, jagged rocks protruding through the snowpack in a dramatic landscape great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Winter here can begin as early as November and last through March or sometimes even beyond. The 4.5-mile Loop Road, closed to motorized traffic between mid-November and mid-April, transforms into a ski trail generally groomed from December to March. Novices are advised to ski the loop, which can usually be completed clockwise in 2-4 hours to avoid coming down the one steep hill. Snowshoers can enjoy the 1.5-mile Snowshoe Loop Trail. Snowshoe Walks, which require no previous snowshoe experience and are a great way to learn, are generally scheduled in January and February. The Craters of the Moon Natural History Association has snowshoes available for loan at the Visitor Center.