The road to Darvaza gas crater is not for the faint of heart
Located on the heart of the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan sits a crater of fire with the size of an American football field that has been perpetually burning now for almost fifty years. Dubbed the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell it’s a surreal feature in an otherwise barren landscape.
The road to the crater is unpaved. Extreme caution needed. The route demands 100% concentration. One mistake and it's a free fall to your death. To visit the crater, it's best to go at night, when the fire can be seen from miles away. The site was identified by Soviet engineers in 1971 and it was originally thought to be a substantial oil field site. Fearing that the hole would lead to the release of poisonous gases, the team decided to burn it off. It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within few days, but weeks, months and years passed, and it is still burning today.
4x4 recommended. This trail passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. At first glance, it could be a dramatic scene from a science-fiction movie. Its diameter is 69 metres (226 ft), and its depth is 30 metres (98 ft).