Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters

Death Valley, California

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These volcanic craters are a fascinating geology lesson on the forces that helped form Death Valley. A short loop hike around the large Ubehebe Crater and the several smaller ones enables you to witness the complex erosion patterns that have occurred since the craters’ birth. The volcanic region at the north end of the Cottonwood Mountains, near Scotty’s Castle, is evidence of recent cataclysmic events in Death Valley, geologically speaking. The huge Ubehebe Crater was created maybe as recently as 300 years ago when magma heated groundwater and the pressure from the resulting steam blew the overlying rock away. This explosion covered 6 square miles of desert with volcanic debris 150 feet deep. Called a maar volcano by geologists, Ubehebe is a crater without a cone. The rim has been eroding ever since the explosion, gradually filling the crater with alluvial fans.
Hiking Death Valley National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Death Valley National Park

by Bill and Polly Cunningham (Falcon Guides)

These volcanic craters are a fascinating geology lesson on the forces that helped form Death Valley. A short loop hike around the large Ubehebe Crater and the several smaller ones enables you to witness the complex erosion patterns that have occurred since the craters’ birth.

The volcanic region at the north end of the Cottonwood Mountains, near Scotty’s Castle, is evidence of recent cataclysmic events in Death Valley, geologically speaking. The huge Ubehebe Crater was created maybe as recently as 300 years ago when magma heated groundwater and the pressure from the resulting steam blew the overlying rock away. This explosion covered 6 square miles of desert with volcanic debris 150 feet deep. Called a maar volcano by geologists, Ubehebe is a crater without a cone. The rim has been eroding ever since the explosion, gradually filling the crater with alluvial fans.

© 2017 Bill and Polly Cunningham/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Death Valley
Distance: 1.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1-2 hours
Season: Best season: Late October through April
Local Contacts: Furnace Creek Visitor Center; (760) 786-3200; www.nps.gov/deva
Local Maps: NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS Ubehebe Crater-CA
Driving Directions: Directions to Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters

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Apr 2018