Lunar Crater Back Country Byway

The scenic loop (the Lunar Crater Back Country Byway) passes by the crater with a stopping point near the crater where visitors can get out to view the impressive volcanic feature.



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Vehicles are limited to existing roads and trails.

Want to know what Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were going through as they bounced around on the Moon in 1969? Well, in Nevada, you absolutely can and that sort of experience can be relished at Lunar Crater. Not far from the geographic center of Nevada, Lunar Crater’s nearest city is Tonopah, about 70 miles to the southwest.

At first glance, you might be thinking this is quite the appropriate welcome-landscape to the nearby ET Highway, it feels that otherworldly. We’ll task you with an attempt at eyeing down little green men, but can promise you this: this is one incredible NATURAL landscape. Regrettably, Lunar Crater wasn’t formed by a UFO or even a crater, but got its name because it looks so similar to craters found on the actual moon.

The infamous atomic blasts that happened at the Nevada National Test Site [think Nuclear Nevada] happened just to the south, and were man made. What you see at Lunar Crater is nothing short of a wondrous, natural landscape. As one of six, National Natural Landmarks in Nevada, Lunar Crater and the nearby backcountry byway was added to the National Natural Landmark register in 1973. The 430 foot-deep is impressive on its own, but the fact that it’s part of an enormous volcanic field loaded with other craters, cinder cones, basalt flows and ancient lava beds is what makes this area a must see.

Travel Warning: Cell phone coverage, if at all, is very limited. You more then likely will be a long distance from ANY support services or assistance. Gas, food, water, supplies are not available. Make sure you car is in good condition, you have a spare tire and you are provisioned for an extended stay if needed. Leave travel plans with someone and let them know where you are going and when you will return.

Pictures below are provided by contributors or supporters of this website. If you are interested in sharing your pictures of Nevada, please drop us a note.


Courtesy S. Ward – Inside Lehman Caves