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Lunar Crater

 
 Lunar Crater National Landmark--a crater caused by volcanic eruption.  The crater is 430 feet deep and about 4,000 feet in diameter.  Located 230 miles north of Las Vegas (75 miles east of Tonopah) on Hwy. 6, Lunar Crater is almost in the center of the State of Nevada.  The Lunar Crater Volcanic Field covers about 100 square miles at the southern end of the Pancake Range.  This view is looking south.    

 

 
This scene is looking away from the crater and over the expanse of desert that is traveled to get to Lunar Crater.  Other volcanoes in the Lunar Crater Volcano Field are visible.  

 

  

Dedicated a National Landmark in 1973, the crater is access by an 8-mile long dirt road off of Hwy 6.  There is no entrance fee. 

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Beginning the journey to the crater after turning onto the dirt road. 

 
 

One of the volcanoes seen from the dirt road driving to Lunar Crater. 

 
 

Not quite as big as Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ (which was caused by a meteor impact), Lunar Crater is still impressive.  There are other sites to see past Lunar Crater, but the road degrades requiring a high-clearance vehicle.  One of the places is Lunar Lake, a dry lake bed. 

 
  
 

There is a small parking area at the edge of the crater.  In the background is the volcano called Easy Chair.   

 
 

A closer view of Easy Chair through the zoom lens.  There is a road that passes near Easy Chair but it is not recommended for the average passenger car. 

 
  

There is a short trail from the parking area to a bench where one can enjoy the scenic beauty and the tranquil quiet.  People are far and few between out here! 

 

  Jay on the Observation Point Trail.

 

Robyn sitting on the bench. 

 
 

In geologic terms, the crater is called a "maar", a name given to shallow, broad craters formed by volcanic eruption.  Apollo astronauts trained here in the 1960s.  Hiking is allowed into the crater--moderately strenuous.  The average age of the volcanic field is between 4.2 million and 15,000 years!  

 
 

  

A look back at the dirt road that brings you to Lunar Crater--and the wide-open expanse.

 

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