Day 3: Road Trip to Amboy Crater

Amboy Crater

Day 3: Road Trip from 29 Palms to Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark in the Mojave Trails National Monument

Spend the day outdoors enjoying a self-guided tour of historic murals, public art installations, and hidden gems.

Directions to Amboy Crater Trailhead

“AmboySpanning an incredible 1.6-million acres,Mojave Trails National Monument borders Joshua Tree National Park to the south, and Mojave National Preserve to the north, and offers incredible outdoor recreation opportunities for visitors to discover beautifully rugged mountain ranges, pristine sand dunes and ancient lava flows, historic Native American trading routes and incredible WWII history, plus a chance to drive the longest undeveloped stretches of the iconic Route 66.

Located throughout our downtown area, these murals illustrate the history of our city, and the stories of the Serrano and Chemehuevi Tribes and early life at the Oasis of Mara, followed by a cast of cattle ranchers and gold miners, to the resilient homesteaders and pioneers who played an instrumental role in shaping the charming, rural, community you see today.

Start your Mojave Trails National Monument adventure at Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark, considered one of the monuments most famous geological wonders. Situated in one of the youngest volcanic fields in the U.S., Amboy Crater was formed of ash and cinders, and is 250-feet high and 1,500-feet in diameter, sitting in stunning contrast to the vast desert wilderness its surrounded by. In the cooler fall and winter seasons, plan to give yourself a couple of hours to explore, and plan time to hike the trail up and into this stunningly symmetrical volcanic cinder cone and be prepared to take in some seriously otherworldly views.

Getting there from 29 Palms:

  • Distance from downtown 29 Palms: 52 scenic miles
  • Directions: From Hwy 62 and Adobe Road, drive 2 miles north on Adobe Road to Amboy Road. Follow Amboy Road northeast for 48 miles. Turn left on National Trails Hwy (Route 66) and drive east for 0.8 miles and then turn left on Crater Road.  

Road trip essentials:  

  • Road map of Mojave Trails National Monument (cell/GPS reception will be unavailable for most of the trip)
  • Your sense of adventure, and full tank of gas
  • Plenty of water and salty snacks to stay hydrated
  • Hiking shoes, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and extra layers of clothing – temperatures drop as the sun sets!
  • Camera and tripod to capture the stunning views
  • Wildflower guidebook if visiting in the spring season
  • Telescope/binoculars for late-night stargazing
  • What you need to start planning your visit:
    Mojave Trails National Monument Map
    More information about Amboy Crater
    Lodging in 29 Palms

    Trip Planning Ideas & Itinerary