Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters

Death Valley, California

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4 Reviews
5 out of 5
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 allows you to witness the complex erosion patterns that have occurred since the craters’ geologically recent birth. The volcanic region at the north end of the Cottonwood Mountains, near Scotty’s Castle, is evidence of geologically recent cataclysmic events in Death Valley. The huge Ubehebe Crater was created around 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.

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
allows you to witness the complex erosion patterns that have
occurred since the craters’ geologically recent birth.

The volcanic region at the north end of the Cottonwood Mountains, near Scotty’s Castle, is evidence of geologically
recent cataclysmic events in Death Valley. The huge Ubehebe Crater was created around 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."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Death Valley
Distance: 1.5
Elevation Gain: 320 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1-2 hours
Season: Best: Late October to April
Local Maps: NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS 1:24,000 topo map Ubehebe Crater-CA

Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters Reviews

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4/2/2012
So much fun running down into the crater. Much less fun coming back up.
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3/14/2012
Great short hike around a spectacular geological feature. We did this hike first thing in the morning, but I would start around 10 o'clock: the sun will be higher in the sky and it will illuminate the entire crater.
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2/21/2011
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Review by Bill & Teresa Kettler This are is worthy of exploration. The trail to the bottom of Ubehebe Crater is a steep walk through loose rubble. However, a very steep climb out can be exhausting, especially for those out of shape or with children (not reccommended). A easier 0.5-mile trail can be followed along the rim of Ubehebe to Little Hebe Crater.
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Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters Photos