Cataclysmic Galactic

Hike Around Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park

Woman hiking the trail around Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley already has a whole Star Wars vibe going with its desolate and beautifully sublime mixed landscape. So when you first arrive at Ubehebe Crater you might expect to see the Millennium Falcon hunkered nearby.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

The crater is a sight to see even from the parking lot. Behold a large volcanic formation that’s 500 feet deep and half a mile wide. We recommend hiking its 1.5-mile rim trail to take it in from all perspectives, and to escape the parking lot crowds. Circumnavigating not only lets you look into the depths of the canyon more clearly, it gives you a round-the-compass perspective of the vast desert landscape racing to distant mountains.

Woman hiking around Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park

After checking out the scenery from around the rim, of course you’ve gotta go down into the crater! The best and most gradual entrance is found by walking a few minutes north of the parking lot (if you’ve been hiking the rim you’ll see the entry point before finishing the loop). Going down is the easy part.

Woman hiking down a trail to Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park

Be sure to save energy, and water, for the slog of an ascent out … take your time, take breaks if needed, and watch the temperature (we don’t recommend a visit to the bottom on really hot days). You’ll feel over the moon (or on the moon!) witnessing this crater 2,000+ years in the making.

Woman at the bottom of Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park

Ubehebe Crater is off of Scotty’s Castle Road, 39 miles north of the Scotty Castle Road and Highway 90 intersection.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Life and Death Experience” Weekend Sherpa co-founders Brad and Holly talk about their favorite adventures in Death Valley, including this hike at Ubehebe Crater.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Shell of a Good Hike!

    Head to the East Bay’s Shell Ridge Open Space near Walnut Creek to find 1,400 acres of rolling hills. This 7-mile ridge rambling loop showcases all that the foothills of Mount Diablo have to offer.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Santa Cruz Epic Views

    Redwoods, wildflowers, and ocean vistas offer the best of the Bay Area at Upper La Honda Creek Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Take a 3.75-mile loop through the preserve's highlights.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Find Your Flow

    Far back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Uvas Canyon County Park is a compact, tree-filled delight with hiking trails and several waterfalls bunched into a loop along Swanson Creek and amid lush forest.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Ready When You Are: Reno Tahoe

    With outdoors being essential for health and wellness, and new protocols in place, Reno Tahoe welcomes visitors! It's wide open with snowshoe trails, fire pits by the river, skating, and hot springs.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Santa Year Round

    Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale is an 836-acre county park with a namesake dam. Explore highlights on a 4-mile loop featuring a lake, a beach, and beautiful mountain vistas.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Good as Golden

    Golden Canyon in Death Valley has a variety of hiking trails. We like this classic 5.5-mile loop exploring a labyrinth of marbled gold colored hills, badlands, narrow canyons, and tremendous vistas.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Canyons Calling

    Canyon hikes come in all shapes and sizes in Death Valley, and we’ve got two gems. One requires more rigorous scrambling and navigation, and leads to a dryfall; the other takes you up to a brilliant vista.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Dune Swoon

    Of all the places to catch a sunset in Death Valley, we still think there’s none better than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, inspiring many things, including log rolls, cartwheels, and sundown selfies.

    View