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Ubehebe Crater - Death Valley National Park

Summary: Ubehebe Crater is located in the northern section of the park near Scotty's Castle. The craters in the area are all that remain of a volcanic eruption that occurred between 2000 - 3000 years ago caused by rising magma violently mixing with ground water to create superheated steam (called a hydrovolcanic eruption). The resulting explosion scattered cinders over a 6 square mile area and formed the 0.5 mile wide, 770 foot deep crater.
Directions: From Scotty's Castle, drive south towards the park. Turn right (north) at the signed intersection just outside the Park's entrance and drive 5 miles to the parking area at the top of the crater.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - paved all the way
Navigation: Easy
Length: ~2 miles if you hike all the paths
Date Hiked: November 2004
Weather Conditions: Sunny, cool and windy
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: There are three short hikes you can do in the area.
1) Walk around the rim of the main crater in front of you. The path is marked by plastic trail signs. Be careful near the edge, the cinders roll beneath your shoes and it's a long way down.
2) Walk down the steep cinder slope to the bottom of the main crater and back.
3) Follow the path around the west rim of the main crater (to the right if you're standing in the parking lot facing the bowl) and loop around a couple smaller craters including Little Hebe. This hike can also be combined with #1 above.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and his wife hiked all the paths described above in 1.5 hours.
Maps: Trails Illustrated - Death Valley National Park
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

Ubehebe Crater. Little Hebe Crater.
The bottom of Ubehebe Crater.