How to drive to Darvaza Gas Crater - The Door to Hell?

The Darvaza Gas Crater, situated in Ak bugdaý District, Ahal Province of Turkmenistan, is often referred to as the "Door to Hell" or "Gates of Hell". Found in the Karakum Desert, this intriguing site has been burning continuously for almost fifty years.

Darvaza gas crater

What's the source of the crater's flames?

The flames of the crater, fueled by natural gas from the surrounding rock, paint a vivid picture, especially noticeable along its walls. Visitors approaching the crater are greeted by the sound of the flames and a heat that's occasionally too intense to bear.

What's the history and characteristics of the Darvaza Gas Crater?

In 1971, Soviet geologists, thinking they had found a significant gas field, began drilling. Unexpectedly, the ground collapsed, releasing a vast amount of gas. They set it alight, anticipating a quick burnout, yet the flames persist. The crater measures 69 metres (226 ft) in diameter and 30 metres (98 ft) in depth. Although once open to brave explorers, a safety fence now restricts close access to its edge.

Why is the Darvaza Gas Crater a unique attraction?

Unlike many global tourist spots, the Darvaza Gas Crater is marked by its tranquillity and simplicity. This remote location doesn't offer typical amenities like parking or hotels. Instead, visitors might spot a few tents and yurt camps nearby, highlighting the area's raw and uncommercialized beauty.

How to get to Darvaza Gas Crater by car?

Located in the middle of the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan, the road to the crater is fully unpaved. Extreme caution needed. Starting on the paved road to Derweze, the road is 6.99 km (4.35 mi) long. The route demands 100% concentration. One mistake and it's a free fall to your death. 4x4 recommended. The heat and an odor of combustion can be sensed for some distance downwind.