Amboy Crater

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Visited: September 7, 2015

Description: An extinct, 246ft basalt cinder cone type of volcano located in the Mojave Desert

Length: 3 miles roundtrip

Elevation: 246ft, if you climb to the top of the crater. The trail leads you into the middle of the crater.

Duration: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy, just follow the signs leading you to the crater

Terrain: Maintained, flat trail before reaching the crater. Rocky but still pretty easy once you reach the base of the crater.

Wildlife: Rattlesnakes, tortoises (we didn’t see any and we were definitely trying :()

Parking: Lot (34.556974, -115.781007)

Best time to go: Fall, winter, when it isn’t so dam hot!

Bring: Water, camera, sunscreen, hat

After “saving some lives” in the Mojave Desert (read about it here), we were literally chasing the sunset to reach Amboy Crater. Driving 80 (plus another 40… ;)) mph did not get us to the crater in time. Determined, we decided to hike to the crater anyways. With just one flashlight, our group of 4 marched on. Clinging to one another, we tried to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes and other creatures haunting the night. Before we hit 0.5 miles, we could no longer see the trail and gave up… We didn’t want to but we really had no choice.

Defeated, we drove an hour east to Barstow to get a hotel for the night. We couldn’t stay in the area because we had a few others things to do the next day and a set time to return our rental car. After a night of sleep, we woke up the next morning feeling the urge to go back. We ended up backtracking and raced off back to Amboy Crater to complete our mission. We’re not quitters!

We’re baaaaaack!

It was 9AM and it was hot as hell already. The trail is very easy to follow during the daytime. We had no excuses today! With no time to waste, we took a short cut through the lava fields. Even a rattlesnake attack couldn’t stop us! By the time we got to the base of the crater, we were sweating profusely from the hot sun. We begrudging made the trek up the side of the crater. Before long, we were in the center of the crater! We thought the hike up would be arduous but that was much easier than expected! Oooh ahhh, *click click* “Alright guys, let’s go!

“Live or die trying”

Walking back, we realized we really should’ve brought water. What kind of person hikes in 100°F weather without any water?! HikeSnobs do… Suck a rookie mistake! We followed the designated trail back to our car. We soon realized the short cut may have actually taken longer than if we followed the trail! Back at the car, drenched in sweat, we gulped down water and rushed off to our next destination. “No goal was ever met without a little sweat.” In our case, a lot of sweat!

@HikeSnobs Tips:

  • Go when it’s not so hot! We went when it was ~100°F…… It wasn’t so bad but we were sweating gallons.
  • You can ATV the trail to the base of the volcano… If you just happen to have an ATV lying around… Wish we did!

Helpful maps/guides:

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Leave us a message below!

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