Amboy Crater Trail

Mojave Trails National Monument, California

Elevation Gain12ft
Trailhead Elevation676ft
Elevation Min/Max675/681ft
Elevation Start/End676/676ft

Amboy Crater Trail

Amboy Crater Trail is a hiking trail in San Bernardino County, California. It is within Mojave Trails National Monument. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 676 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 12 feet. Near the trailhead there are a viewpoint, restrooms, and parking. The Amboy Crater volcano and Amboy Crater (elevation 951 feet) can be seen along the trail.

Amboy Crater Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Amboy Crater is a volcanic cone of ash and cinders rising out of a lava flow. It has erupted at least four times; the most recent eruption happened 10,000 years ago. This short hike leads through the basalt flows and up a breach in the crater wall to the center of the cone. After the winter rains, the fields of purple sand verbena and desert lily along this route are especially photogenic. This trip has enough attractions to keep a child captivated, and the steady stream of freight trains on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe line blowing their whistles at Amboy lend a certain atmosphere that some may find appealing. The crater is located on BLM land outside the boundaries of Mojave National Preserve."

"This very short trail travels to the base of the towering, black cinder cone of Amboy Crater. The first 0.7 miles of the trail can be tackled by a carefully driven passenger vehicle, but it is rough and slow going with embedded black lava rock. Past a small parking area, the trail is marked for 4WD vehicles only; passenger vehicles should stop here. The trail continues to twist and snake its way to the base of the cone. The embedded lava rock makes for a rough ride and is very hard on tires. However the trail is not technically difficult. It is marked sporadically with brown route markers, which are useful because the trail is often indistinct and a couple of incorrect trails can confuse the navigator. Special Attractions: The volcanic cone of Amboy Crater; Spectacular hiking trail to the crater rim. High-clearance 4WDs are recommended, though most stock SUVs are acceptable. Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface."

Amboy Crater Trail Reviews

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Actually, this isn't a bad little hike. You drive down a well-maintained dirt road to the parking area which has restrooms. The hike meaders around towards the crater (why they didn't make it more of a straight line is beyond me) towards the back of the crater. From there it's a brief ascent to the inside of the crater. You can continue on to the top of the rim which offers fantastic views. Round trip is about an hour and a half.
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I couldn't find the 4x4 road that takes you to the base of the crater. If there was a road, it was blocked by a locked gate. So I parked in the community lot and hiked. It took a little less than an hour from my car to the rim of the crater...easy hike. It's definitely worth it.
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This isn't a very rough road. I drove on this road in my 97 toyota camry. At the end is resrooms and picnic tables with covers over them to provide shade. There you can park your vehicle and hike to the crater.

Amboy Crater Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mojave Trails National Monument
Nearby City
Mojave Trails National Monument
Mojave National Preserve
Local Contacts
USGS Amboy Crater, Amboy
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018