Elevation Gain (ft)
Death Valley shows off some of its diversity with the volcanic craters know as Ubehebe and Little Hebe, which exhibit colorful erosion and a lunar-esque landscape that is an excellent side trip as you make your way to Scotty’s Castle or the Eureka Dunes from Stovepipe Wells.
Location: Death Valley National Park, California, USA
Trailhead: Ubehebe Crater parking area, 8 miles west of Scotty’s Castle; pit toilet
Length: 1.5 miles roundtrip; +275 ft
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Trail Type: Loop
Warnings: Make sure to bring plenty of water as well as sun and eye protection.
Hiking around Ubehebe Crater and up to Little Hebe is a surreal experience. The center of the crater is full of colorful rock and mud that ranges from brown and orange to pink and white. The crater itself is 600 feet deep and a half mile across and the path going arounding its circumference is smooth, level, and in good condition. The crater was formed when rising magma reached groundwater creating tremendous steam and gas explosions, which resulted in the crater and black cinder fields in the surrounding area.
From the parking lot, start walking counter-clockwise around Ubehebe Crater. Soon you will come to the path for Little Hebe, which is well-marked. Make sure to check out this smaller crater, which is more easily photographed than the large Ubehebe Crater. After checking out the Little Hebe, return back to the main path and complete the full loop.