Amboy and Amboy CraterAmboy and Amboy Crater

Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark

The remarkably picturesque Amboy Crater volcanic cinder cone off of Highway 66 (Historic Route 66), a 45-minute drive northeast of Twentynine Palms, rises 250 feet above the Mojave Desert floor. A moderate hike trail leads up to the top for a majestic 360-degree view. The 1/2-day walk to the top and back requires good sturdy footware but is an inspiring picnic location. Be sure to bring water and observe the rules of the desert.


Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973, Amboy Crater was recognized for its visual and geological significance. Although Amboy Crater is not unique, it is an excellent example of a very symmetrical volcanic cinder cone. The inside of the 250foot-high crater contains two lava dams behind which has formed small lava lakes. These are now flat in general appearance, covered with light colored clay, creating the impression of miniature "dry lakes." There is a breach on the west side of the crater where basaltic lava poured out over a vast area. Beyond the crater lies 24 square miles of lava flow containing such features as lava lakes, collapsed lava tubes and sinks, spatter cones and massive flows of basalt.


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The town of Amboy is another fascinating Historic Route 66 classic stop in the Mojave Desert.


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