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Ubehebe Crater

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley, California

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Ubehebe Crater

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  • A night shot of Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park.- Ubehebe Crater
  • A side crater near the top of Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Early morning at Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Sunrise over Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • A beautiful morning at Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Panamint Mountains seen from the top of Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Sunrise view from Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Top of the crater looking down on the parking lot.- Ubehebe Crater
  • The bottom of Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park.- Ubehebe Crater
  • A mud flat at the top of the crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • A closer look at the mud flat at the top of Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • The way to Little Hebe.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Little Hebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
  • Small crater at Death Valley National Park.- Ubehebe Crater
  • The view from the top of Ubehebe Crater.- Ubehebe Crater
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Interesting geology. Beautiful panoramic views.
Cons: 
Long drive from Furnace Creek.
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Region:
Death Valley, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
275.00 ft (83.82 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,595.00 ft (790.96 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

One look at Ubehebe Crater and you would think this half-mile wide, 600-foot deep hole in the ground was the result of a meteor impact long ago. On the contrary, the multiple craters around Death Valley National Park are caused by Maar volcanoes. When these broad, superficial magma pools come in contact with ground water, the water flash boils and creates a massive amount of steam. The pressure builds up until the ground explodes, projecting earth and rock miles away from the explosion's center. Ubehebe is the largest of such Maar volcano craters in the area, and the event that created the crater is believed to have happened as recently as 300 years ago.

Ubehebe Crater is a 46 mile drive from Stovepipe Wells and is on the way if you are checking out Scotty's Castle or heading out to the Racetrack Playa. The Grapevine Ranger Station and Mesquite Springs Campground are in the vicinity as well. From the parking lot, you can basically step out of your vehicle and view the crater. To catch a better vantage point, and to check out some of the other craters in the area, take the trail that leads for approximately 2 miles around the rims of the various craters. This includes the hike out to nearby Little Hebe Crater.

The initial hike to the top of the Ubehebe Crater is slow going because the ground is steep and includes a lot of loose cinder. Once you near the top, there are a few small side craters you can explore, and you will have an amazing panoramic view of the nearby Panamint Mountains. When hiking around the craters of Death Valley, use good judgment and keep in mind that the ground near the edges is loose and can potentially give way. 

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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