Ubehebe Crater Road

The scenic Ubehebe Crater Road in the Death Valley NP

Ubehebe Crater Road is a paved road located in the desolate northern section of Death Valley National Park, in California, USA, leading to Ubehebe Crater, a large volcanic crater of the Ubehebe Craters volcanic field.

The road to the crater is 5.6 miles long. This well-signed, paved road leads to Ubehebe Crater and Racetrack Valley. Ubehebe Crater is a large volcanic crater a mile and a half wide (2.4 kilometers) and 600 feet (180 meters) deep. It’s one of the many unique geologic features of Death Valley. The crater is about 5 miles north of the northernmost entrance to Death Valley National Park. It is not too far from Scotty's Castle so if you make the trip to see the castle, stop by Ubehebe for some glorious geology. Wind is common in the desert, especially in the spring. Dust storms can suddenly blow up with approaching cold fronts. Winds at the rim of Ubehebe are very strong and often gust above 50 mph (80 km/h). Please stay on the trail since the crater rim and nearby gullies are composed of very loose material making them unstable and dangerous. Cell phones do not work in most parts of the park, do not depend on them. The road continues to the stunning gravel Racetrack Valley Road.

The drive out at sunrise is just as spectacular. Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the world, and climatic conditions in the park can be extreme. The world record highest air temperature of 134°F (57°C) was recorded here. Plan your visit in the park. Drink plenty of water. Avoid hiking in the heat. Travel prepared to survive: Stay on paved roads in summer. If your car breaks down, stay with it until help comes. Carry extra drinking water in your car in case of emergency. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink water or sports drinks. More people die in single-car accidents than by any other means. To avoid an accident, follow the speed limits, shift to a lower gear on steep downhill grades, and wear your seatbelt. Never place your hands or feet where you cannot see first. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, or black widow spiders may be sheltered there. Avoid canyons during rain storms and be prepared to move to higher ground. While driving, be alert for water running in washes and across road dips. Do not enter mine tunnels or shafts. Mines may be unstable, have hidden shafts, pockets of bad air and poisonous gas. Hikers, backpackers and four-wheelers need to be self reliant and well prepared. Always plan ahead, carry detailed maps and let someone know your plans. Backpackers should obtain a free backcountry permit from any visitor center. Dial 911 from any telephone or cell phone. Cell phones may not work in many parts of the park. Do not depend on them. The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable. Always bring plenty of water in your car in case of emergency and drink at least 2 to 4 liters per day, more if you are active in the heat. Avoid canyons during rain storms and be prepared to move to higher ground. While driving, be alert for water running in washes and across road dips. If you feel dizzy, nauseous or have a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink plenty of water. Dampen clothing to lower your body temperature.

 

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