Amboy Salt Flats, Amboy, California

We’re making a stop at the Amboy salt flats on our Route 66 journey! Here’s a unique opportunity to witness mining in action. The canals that line Amboy Road just south of Amboy Crater are filled with food grade liquid Calcium Chloride and water. This video was taken during the California wildfires in October of 2020.

Here’s another little tidbit: the “Amboy Salt Flats” are actually part of a larger, dry lake known as Bristol Lake. Once upon a time, Amboy was first of a series of alphabetical railroad stations across the Mojave Desert. If you look at Google Maps, you’ll see that the remaining existing listed Mojave Desert ghost towns along this portion of Route 66 are: Amboy, Cadiz, Danby, Fenner, Goffs, Homer, Ibis, Java, etc. (Follow the railroad tracks!) Bristol has disappeared from the map! My guess is that it’s been renamed Saltus.

Amboy Salt flat, chlorine pool, salt mining canal in Mojave Desert in California.
Amboy Salt Flat calcium chloride filled pool.

To see the canals, you would have to park on a small pull-off. It’s easy to miss, but there’s a bigger location just around the sharp turn south of the canals, and you could walk to them along Amboy Road.

It is important to note that the canals are not located on public land. They are owned by the National Chloride Company of America, and these canals are a part of their business operations. Since this video was taken, the company installed a dirt barrier to keep visitors off of the property. I can’t say that I’m surprised, as the canal was filled with garbage on our visit.

From this spot you’ll also get a good view of the back of Amboy Crater. I’ve shared a piece about the Amboy crater out in the California side of the Mojave Desert in the past. It’s a 250 foot cinder cone volcanic crater that sticks up out of the desert floor and was once a popular tourist spot for tourists driving along Route 66. The cone itself is dark and offers a hiking opportunity for tourists to the region outside of the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.

What’s your favorite area of California, or what would you like to explore? Let us know, and keep tuned to our blog and channel for future updates! You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for stopping by!

California Christmas Lights 2020

Join us on a short drive around town to view Christmas lights in California!

I’ve been fascinated by Christmas lights since I was a child, when my parents would wrap lights around our tree, then the front porch; as I got older, I would string the lights around my bedroom, making the whole room festive during the holiday season. One of my favorite past-times is driving around town with my friends, drinking hot cocoa, and listening to Christmas music while taking in all of the sparkling lights.

Christmas lights on corner house lit up wall candy canes penguins tree.

We’ve carried that tradition with us to make it ours. We put on our Christmas playlist and make it a goal to drive past this one certain house that’s always got the best lights in town. I love the trains on top of the house!

Christmas light corner house with candy canes tree penguins and Christmas star.

This year, a new house joined the party, and we were excited to see that a whole family was enjoying the decorations as we drove by! The inflatables at this house completely covered the front yard. (I’m still confused by the giant octopus and Santa on an elephant. They were quite an unusual sight!)

Christmas Lights inflatables corner house in 2020.

We’ll be looking forward to 2021, and can’t wait to share this tradition with everyone once again.

Do you, or did you have any family or friend traditions during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!

Amboy Crater, California

Here we take you on a walk up the ADA accessible pathway to the overlook of Amboy Crater, a National Natural Landmark since 1973. The crater is located in the Mojave Desert off of Historic Route 66, National Trails Highway. It’s 2.4 miles from the abandoned ghost town of Amboy, California, and just over 50 miles from the Twentynine Palms entrance of Joshua Tree National Park. If you’re driving to the crater from Joshua Tree, watch out the left side of your window on Amboy Road to catch the lava as it appears just after the Amboy salt flat. If you’re driving in from Kelso Rd., drive through the town of Amboy, over the railroad tracks, and stay straight on Route 66. The crater is on the left. To get up close and personal with Amboy, you can take a short hike on the unpaved trail to the small volcano, a 1.5-mile walk. Covered picnic areas are available at the parking area.

Note: Hikes should be planned for the months of October through April as temperatures can get into the triple digits (Fahrenheit). Keep an eye on the weather for temperatures and wind speeds. The desert wind can grow unexpectedly strong.

Entrance to Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark, part of the Mojave Trails National Monument

Violent volcanic explosions unleashed the ashes and cinders that formed the cinder cone we see today. Amboy Crater rises 250 feet above the desert floor. The lava spreads out over a vast area of 24 square miles around the crater.

Lava, or basalt, covers 24 square miles around the Amboy Crater.

If you’re running low on water, or require a good hand wash, the nearby ghost town of Amboy’s got you covered. Go right on Route 66 from Crater Rd. (do not turn back on to Amboy Rd.) and take the left over the railroad tracks to enter the small town. At Roy’s Motel and Cafe, the old gas station sells snacks and drinks for weary travelers, and gas is available upon request. The town offers a glimpse into the past when Route 66 – also known as The Mother Road – was hopping.

Gas can also be found along the 40 West about 30 miles out to Ludlow or 42 miles on the 40 East to Fenner.

Informational sign about the Amboy Crater.

What else would you like to explore in the Mojave Desert? Leave a comment below, and subscribe to our channel! We’ll see you again soon!