Visit the Ghost Town of Amboy

Amboy is a California ghost town that was once a major stop along Route 66 until Interstate 40 was opened. The city only has 10 remaining buildings, Roy's gas station and motel cafe being the biggest landmarks. You can stop in for a Root Beer in the diner style gas station. Nearby a 6,000-year-old cinder cone volcano rises above a lava field.

To Get There

When To Go

The best time to visit Amboy is Spring or Fall, it’s too hot in the summer and in the middle of nowhere so it’s not a place you’d want to break down or be outside. Winter can get pretty cold in the desert.

In 1959 the towering retro neon boomerang sign was erected, and is the most charming feature of this stop. A few rooms from the hotel have been left as museum pieces, with furniture and objects from a past time. You can only view these rooms from outside the glass walls.

When I visited first in 2015, there were some hotel rooms open with art installations. These installations were part of the Golden Smiles Salty Tears by the Swiss Artist Severin Guelpa.

Art installation, 2015

Art installation, 2015

The old motel is mostly gated off, with some vintage cars on the interior. I'd pay a pretty penny to get past those gates to shoot some photography. 

Just a few miles down the road from Roy's is Amboy Crater, a 6,000-year-old cinder cone volcano that rises above a lava field. This cinder cone is estimated to be 79,000 years old. You can hike to the rim using the western cone trail. There is a parking lot you can turn into with viewing deck. I loved seeing all the plants spring up from the black lava forms. New life sprouted from the darkness. 

Amboy Crater off to the left.

Do you have any other tips on Amboy? Please leave them in the comments below.