The Dirt: Lunar Crater Backcountry Byway



The Lunar Crater Back Country Byway volcanic field is 24 miles long. It has been a National Natural Landmark since its designation in 1973. Along this bumpy and unpaved byway, explore maars, cinder cones, and basalt flows similar to the findings on the moon. Easy Chair Crater is one of the first visible craters upon entering the byway. Continuing further you’ll pass through several rock formations and reach Lunar Crater. From Lunar Crater, see 20 other extinct volcanoes close by. Along with exploring the unique formations, enjoy the wildflowers along with the fantastic wildlife.

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. Vehicles are limited to existing roads and trails.

No fees are required for entering the area. The scenic loop is 24 miles (38 km) long. The byway takes about 1-2 hours to traverse.


To reach Lunar Crater from Tonopah, Nevada:

  • Take US Highway 6 East towards Ely, to approximately mile-marker #79.
  • The scenic loop will be on the right hand of the road way and marked with a sign.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Bureau of Land Management

BLM Field Office - Tonopah
1553 South Main Street
Tonopah, NV 89049

Telephone: (775) 482-7800

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only.

Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.
Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Plan Your Visit