Amboy Crater

MODERATE 35 reviews

Amboy Crater is a 3.8 mile out and back trail located near Amboy, California and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from September until February. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
360 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

Mojave desert hike onto an ancient volcano crater through lava fields. Amboy crater is a moderate hike off of route 66. The crater is actually an ancient cinder cone near the Mojave national preserve. The Crater area has been used to test the Mars rovers. The crater trail starts though the lava fields. Just past the lava field is a moderately flat area to the base. From the base, hike to the west side up a moderate slope. On the west side, follow the hike trail near the base. At the breach, hike up the steep incline into the crater. Once inside, you can hike straight to the caldera, or follow one of the steep trails up to the rim. You can hike on the rim from one side of the breach to the other. The northeast side of the rim is very narrow and steep on both sides so be careful. Also, good hiking boots are recommended as the lava can be sharp. This hike is best attempted in the Fall and Winter as Summer temperatures can get over 100 degrees.

hiking
3 days ago

Great way to spend a day in family. Drove from San Diego to do this hike and really enjoyed it.

24 days ago

Very cool to hike inside and around the rim of a cinder cone. Easy hike, can get hot, make sure to take plenty of water.

1 month ago

This hike is so cool but only take it during the cooler seasons. The temperature gets really hot.

3 months ago

Parked in the day use lot and walked out from there (dashed line on map). Absolutely don't miss out on climbing to the caldera assuming you have sturdy shoes. And yes, take plenty of water. We drank 20 oz each. Sign suggests 3 hr. I suppose if you didn't linger you could do it in less, but the caldera is super cool. We also took many wildflower pix. Desert blooms are small, but impressive.

3 months ago

Interesting site along Route 66. Great views of the surrounding lava fields and a great level and paved overflow spot to park the RV and watch the stars at night.

When we went there were hurricane force winds (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration) and making it to the rim was scary. We only walked about half the way around the rim before the wind forced a us down back the Co e area. #LiveLoveWanderTribe

5 months ago

Great Family trail. Super rocky, views along the ridge trail were awesome. Defiantly worth the stop.

hiking
8 months ago

Did this one on a windy day. The hike is amazing you walk through an old lava field all the way to the top of the crater. The views from the top are good and you can really see how active this area was. All together a great hike I wouldn't want to do it in the summer because of the heat.

11 months ago

Very unique hike, best done in cooler weather.

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A relatively easy hike along a well maintained trail. The trail even has a few resting stops along the way. Some parts of the trail were really sandy and along most of the trail, there was black volcanic rock, clear evidence of the area's past volcanic activity. I was here in mid June and it was in the mid 90s. This is definitely not a place to be hiking at in the mid summer when temperatures could well exceed 110 degrees. As this was a bit of a spontaneous hike, I was unprepared for what you need to be hiking in the middle of the desert. Eventually, I made it into the crater with my shirt drenched and with little water. With nobody within miles, I decided it was best just to hike back instead of walking along the rim as planned.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

beautiful crater and a fun little hike. got lost on our way back though, tits a great place to catch a sunset but the trail easy to step off of in the dark!

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Great hike! I couldn't believe how many flowers there were! Reminded me a lot of hiking in Hawaii.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Great hike in the middle of nowhere haha.. did the hike in late dec,was a slight rain, fun easy trail ..slow and steady thru the lower sandy section ,quick climb gets u up and inside the crater area ..take the upper ledge trails with care for great views .. would be great place for a bonfire .,,little short on firewood

birding
Saturday, December 19, 2015

I got to the trailhead too late in the day to make the full hike before the sun set, so I hiked about half way. I found the terrain super interesting with stunning evidence of volcanic eruption marked by black pumice in all directions. The trail itself was very hiker friendly with ample resting spots for the amateur hiker. I would recommend stiff-soled hiking boots/shoes for this hike.

hiking
Saturday, July 04, 2015

DO NOT go in the summer! It was 112 degrees and sheer sauna! Time it for early Spring & see some desert flowers. We were the ONLY living things about there...not even a bird or a fly was heard. I call it Sauna city!

hiking
Monday, June 09, 2014

A good hike and the drive to Amboy from Twenty-nine Palms by Amboy Road is interesting as is the view of the salt flats

hiking
Friday, April 11, 2014

Great hike in November. Took Webelos Scouts out to the cinder cone and even hiked the rim without incident. The climb into the crater is tricky for young hikers as well those with mobility issues. Recommend hiking stick or trekking poles if you attempt the rim. It is very narrow, very steep drop offs, and gets quite windy on top. The vistas are grand. This should be on everyone's to do list, even if only once.

hiking
Sunday, October 06, 2013

Great hike. From the parking lot to the base of the crater is mostly flat, and sandy, but you do walk thru some small lava rock piles which are pretty cool to explore. Once you get to the base of the crater, the trail gets pretty steep to the rim. The trail goes all the way around the rim and there are a few into the bottom of the crater. Nice views of the Twentynine Palms Marine Base and the old town of Amboy. If you do this during summer, take plenty of water. Even in cooler weather, it gets pretty hot when the sun is blazing on the black lava rocks.

hiking
Monday, January 02, 2012

This is an awesome hike to do if you are in the area for hikes in either Mojave or Joshua Tree. Worth the time.

The hike out to the Crater is well marked but pretty uneventful. But once you get to the crater..WOW. I did the hike in January around 3-4PM so the sun was just about to set. There were white/sun bleached bushes dotting the entire volcano....they definitely stood out with the black lava as a background.

You can enter the volcano on the west side. The hike up is somewhat steep but moderate. Once you get into the volcano there are a few trails that lead up to the rim.

hiking
Monday, November 07, 2011

Great Place saw lots of lizards.The crater is a fun hike with a great payoff at the top.

hiking
Friday, September 23, 2011

I've done this hike multiple times, during every season. I really enjoy it, hiking to the crater, up in and into it! It really isn't as hard as some people make it out to be, as long as it isn't during the hottest time of the year. I've never really come across much wildlife or notable plants but lots of awesome rocks :)
As soon as it cools back down, I plan to head out again to make it an annual event.
Only think to remember is bring water, pick up your trash and be careful if you wear hiking sandals as some of the rocks are really sharp.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

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