The lack of snowfall to start this winter season is preventing some area parks and preserves from moving forward with popular winter activities.

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve began their group snowshoeing and skiing activities earlier than usual in 2016 due to an uncommon amount of December snowfall. During the winter months, Craters of the Moon offers weekend family and group shoeing and skiing excursions, but due to this December's snow deficit, these plans are temporarily suspended. Area schools regularly book these trips as well.

"We are currently in a holding pattern," said Kiera Judy, an employee of the preserve. "Last year we had a very active winter season, and so far, there just hasn't been a lot of snow."

One of the preserve's most popular routes offering several miles of trails that weave under and above volcanic scenery has yet to open for these winter activities.

"Snowshoeing and skiing are still closed on Loop Road," said Judy. "Last year we were buried under several feet of snow at this time."

Weekend shoeing and skiing for group trips will start up as soon as the area has the necessary snow coverage. Until then, the preserve's volcanic beds and marvelous rock formations are still well worth the 90 mile drive from Twin Falls.