Description - Amboy Crater was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973 in recognition of its visual and geologic significance. The Amboy Crater consists of 5,760 acres. Amboy Crater is a recent and very symmetrical volcanic cinder cone, breached on one side where basaltic lava poured out over a vast area. The inside of the 250 foot 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." Trails follow the rim of the crater and have been used heavily. Outside the crater, the lava field contains such features as lava lakes, collapsed lava tubes and sinks, spatter cones, and massive flows of basalt.
Copyright: - US Bureau of Land Management
Amboy Crater stands alone in the Mojave Desert with no other evidence of recent volcanism close by. A combination of factors contribute to the significance of Amboy Crater and its resulting designation as a National Natural Landmark. Amboy Crater is an excellent example of a volcanic cinder cone. It is not unique, however. Its setting, the many volcanic phenomena associated with it in a relatively small area, the fact that it is a truly symmetrical recent cone, the presence of a most unusual flat crater floor, its past and present use in the study of volcanology, and its use by travelers in past years as a guide landmark separate this site from other similar such sites.
- You can hike to the west side of the crater and hike to the top and inside the crater. The trail is steep and rocky. Hikers are recommended to check in at Roy's Cafe in Amboy to obtain additional information about the area and desert safety tips. During the spring month from March to May, desert wildflowers are abundant. Blankets of desert primrose and sand verbena provide an excellent area for photography.
Recreation - Sightseeing, hiking, nature photography and wildflower identification are the main reasons people venture to Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark.
Climate - Days in south-central California are typically clear with less than 25 percent humidity. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high of 85 degrees F and a low of 50 degrees F respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100 degrees F during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees F until the early morning.
Amboy Crater is located 2.5 miles west of the small desert town of Amboy along National Trails Highway formerly known as historic "Route 66." The access road is very rocky and requires either a four-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicle. A parking area is located a short distance from the highway.