This is a hike at the north end of Death Valley within 10 miles of Scotty's Castle. I started at the edge of the crater at the... more » parking area behind the interpretive sign and hiked down the crater. It's loose gravel but the footing is OK. It's only 1/4 of a mile to the floor of the crater, but it's about a 500 foot drop. Coming back out is more difficult because the gravel makes it tough and you are going bak up that 500 feet you came down. On the way out, I took a trail going to the right that is easily seen on the way down. The trail is a bit longer than the one down, and so the elevation gain is spread out and the grade is a bit gentler relatively speaking.
When I got back to the rim, I headed clockwise around the crater. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference but by going this way, I knew that the end of the hike would be downhill when I needed the help of gravity.
The trail is very evident along the crater's rim. I did cut across at one point where it wasn't marked. I thought the trail to the left was to a side crater, but it turned out later to be the main trail.
There are wonderful panoramas of the crater from different perspectives. The crater is estimated to be 2,000 years old. The whole area has many craters from its active volcanic period.
When you are on the south side of Ubehebe, look south and you'll see Little Ubehebe Crater also called Little Hebe. There are trails leading to it, but I didn't take one. Little Hebe is a very well defined, almost perfect circle, and is quite interesting to see.
The rim trail loop closes and you'll be back to your car where you can take some more photos, rest, and do some people watching if you're like me.
Happy hiking! less «