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Amboy

For decades, unincorporated Amboy was a popular stop along Route 66 because of Roy's Café & Motel. Opened in 1938 strictly as a service station, founder Roy Crowl teamed up with his son-in-law, Herman "Buster" Burris, and added a café, motel, repair garage, and cabins for overnight rental.

Today, Amboy is owned by an individual: Preservationist Albert Okura, who also owns the original McDonald's in San Bernardino, California, which he operates as a museum. That's down the road a little ways yet.

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Amboy is also known for the Amboy Crater, a 6,000-year old, extinct cinder cone volcano. Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1973, the crater is easily visible for miles. Unlike the Meteor Crater back in Arizona, a huge meteor did not create Amboy Crater; it is a volcanic cinder cone, and quite a symmetric one at that.

The crater rises 250 feet high – about as tall as a 22-story building – and is surrounded by a 27 square mile lava field. You can drive up close to Amboy Crater right off Route 66; there is a rest stop and parking area with bathrooms and picnicking facilities. If you walk around to get a better view of the crater, note all the black rock formations – this is all part of the lava field.

You can hike up to the rim of the volcano via the western Cone Trail. The trail is accessed from the parking area, but if you plan on hiking to the rim, note that it's a 1.5-mile hike. Plus, temperatures of 115 and above are common in the summer months, so bring water, sunscreen, a hat, and all other desert provisions with you.

 
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