Summary: 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 (see blm website http://www.ca.blm.gov/needles/amboy.html ). The crater starts though the lava fields. Just passed 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.
Trailhead: From Barstow, take I40 West, exit Ludlow Rd. Turn right on Ludlow and an immediate left onto National Trails Highway (Route 66). Take route 66 to Amboy crater. (28 miles east of Ludlow, 2 miles west of Amboy). Turn right at the Amboy Crater sign and follow the dirt road to the end. The trailhead is on the west side of the parking lot. The trail is poorly maintained and at time non-existent. Head south toward the crater. At the base, hike to the west side where the trail is much easier to see. Enter though the breach and enjoy! The Trail on the northwest side (not the breach) is too steep to be attempted and is closed for hiking. (Lat:34.33 Lon:-115.46)
Trail Guides for Amboy Crater:
Best Seasons: Fall, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Bureau of land management 760-326-7000
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by David Muro, who has posted 7 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by DM on 11/11/2011
Really interesting hike. Stopped there on my way to Mojave. Found some good photos and info here... http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/amboy-crater/
Reviewed by Mike on 3/19/2009
Hiked 3/18/09. Wild flowers are just now starting to open. Maybe in full blown in a couple weeks. Saw lots of zebra lizards. Very hot already, which made the hike seem a lot longer than 3.5 miles rt. Worth doing at least once, but the scenery does get monotonous. Views atop the caldera let you see the lava fields tapering off into desert. Rare and interesting, but not planning on doing this again anytime soon.
Reviewed by Cindy on 12/3/2008
Hiked on 11/30/08 Wonderful views! Mostly very clean, as is our habit, we packed out whatever others left behind. We were surprised that most people there were completely unprepared. One family with 6 children (2 in diapers) had NO water and the girls were wearing sandals and dresses! But all in all quiet nice. We plan to return in wildflower season.
Reviewed by Mike on 7/14/2008
Well I hiked the crater on 7/12/08 at noon. It was well over 100 degrees and I will not make that mistake again. It took more out of me than I imagined but it was spectacular at the top. Great views and so quiet. I will do this again in the WINTER and enjoy lunch at the top. I was impressed that there was no trash to be found anywhere.
Reviewed by Fran on 4/2/2008
Hiked it yesterday (04/01/08). Great hike fairly easy until you get to the crater, watch for loose rocks. Trail was well marked. BLM seems to be doing alot of improvements. The wildflower season is coming to a end. Bring plenty of water.
Reviewed by HY on 3/28/2008
spring time is best
Reviewed by Henry on 2/27/2008
Amazing place to go right now with the blooming wildflowers! Definitely bring water for the hike. I managed to grab my water bottle without realizing there was no water in it. *DOH* Anyway, not too strenuous except for the final part: steep and slippery, but the girl scout troop that was hiking behind me made it with no casualties so it wasn't too bad. The great views from the rim of the crater make it worth it.
Reviewed by Jordan on 1/13/2008
Just visited this weekend, Janury 2008. I really enjoyed it especially since I'm a desert lover and closet Geology enthusiast. How often does one get to walk along the rim of an ancient volcanic crater? I found the hike itself is pretty easy. We during winter so the temps were mild--mid 70's F. The climb up to the top is steep and slippery. Much of the hike was on fairly flat Lava Field filled with small rocks up to soccer ball size. Make sure you go with a good set of Mountain Boots. Tennis shoes are only adequate. Mountain Boots that have higher ankle protection and a rugged soul works much better. Bring at least 2 bottles of water each person. You will thank yourself afterwards.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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