Sunday, April 11, 2010
Hike 45: Amboy Crater
Hiked Sunday, Apr 11. Last edited Apr 13. Approximately three miles. One mile to crater, one mile back, one mile to circumnavigate the crater.
Off of Historic Route 66, just a few miles west of the town of Amboy, Amboy Crater is a national natural landmark. A well-marked trail leads the way to the crater, which is sort of shaped like Mt. St Helens. The east side of the crater would be the part pointing towards Spirit Lake, meaning it's the low part of the crater. From the top of the crater, lava flow are all around. The flyer available at this location said the volcano erupted just 10,000 years ago, which is practically yesterday, in geologic terms.
Today, the desert sunflowers were blooming in tremendous density and abundance. They were almost as dense as the California Poppies at the Antelope Valley poppy reserve.
This hike is relatively easy in the spring, as it's mostly level, except for the 80 foot or so climb into the crater, then an additional 80 feet or so from the crater lip to the crater rim. It's probably pretty strenuous if you do this hike in the heat of summer, however.
View from the crater rim, looking to the east
Once it warmed up, the lizards and chuckwalla were out in force:
Sand verbena and desert dandelion
Stuck this other view of the inside of the crater on a different website. Picture one is from the northeast end of the rim, looking down the opening. You can see two thin white "scratches," about midway down the trail coming from the left rim. I blew up that section on the next shot, to show the little scratches are two hikers. It helps put a sense of scale to the shots.