Sunset Crater Volcano, National Monument is home to an extinct volcano and its associated cinder cone and lava fields in the forests of north-central Arizona, about 20 miles north of Flagstaff on US 89.
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ILNP Park Review
Our Weather Beautiful day. Partly cloudy and about 75 degrees
Overall Impression Sunset Crater Volcano is a surprisingly beautiful place. Surrounded by deserts, this area is an oasis of high pine forests with views of snow-capped peaks. This Monument is a great place to spend a day picnicking in the forest or hiking through lava fields. It’s also very educational if you take the time to read the signposts telling about the time when the volcanoes in this area were active.
Visiting Plan on spending 1 to 2 hours minimum in Sunset Crater Volcano NM. This time will allow you to drive through the area and take a short hike or two. If you want good pictures of the crater, take them from outside the Monument before you get to the visitor center. For a unique hike, take the 1-mile Lava Flow Trail where you can see the black, twisted remains of a huge lava flow stretching for miles. While the lava looks only a few years old, it’s actually been several-hundred years since Sunset Crater Volcano last erupted.
After you’ve hiked your fill, and if you have time, drive the back way out of the Monument to finish the 35-mile loop through nearby Wupatki NM. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your surroundings change as you drop in elevation from the pine-covered mountain plateau down towards the scrub-covered high desert.
Nearby Towns Flagstaff (Arizona)
Official NPS Website Sunset Crater Volcano NM
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