Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters

Death Valley, California 92328

Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters

Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters Professional Review and Guide

"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."

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Trail Information

Death Valley
Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
1-2 hours
Best season: Late October through April
Furnace Creek Visitor Center; (760) 786-3200; www.nps.gov/deva
Local Contacts
NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS Ubehebe Crater-CA
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018