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Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Lunar Crater is a 400-acre volcanic depression in rural central Nevada given National Natural Landmark status in 1973. Amidst a volcanic area covering about 100 square miles, the maar, a technical name for a feature where groundwater interacted with explosive volcanic activity resulting in a crater-like ground depression, has a depth of about 430 feet and stretches about 3,500 feet across. Believed to have been formed about 15,000 years ago, Lunar Crater is the largest and most distinctive feature in an area that contains dozens of lava flows, cinder cones, vents and fissures from past volcanic activity. 

There is a signed short 200-foot trail leading to a bench overlooking the crater, though continuing to the eastern edge of the rim yields slightly more dramatic views of the crater and surrounding landscape.

Lunar Crater is set along the Lunar Crater Backcountry Byway, a 24-mile stretch of dirt road bisecting a portion of the volcanic fields. It is most directly and easily reachable by traveling a 7-mile stretch of the byway that cuts directly to Lunar Crater from Highway 6. While this stretch of dirt road is generally passable to any vehicles, it can become rutted or full of soft sand, so passenger vehicles may want to check on road conditions before driving it. This is rural BLM land, and there are no facilities or amenities of any kind. The nearest towns are Tonopah to the west (85 miles away) and Ely to the east (100 miles away).

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Scenic. Unique. No crowds.

Cons

No amenities nearby.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Family friendly
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide

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