The state’s ancient Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument alone is home to many stunning geological wonders, including the Bonita Lava Flow, Lenox Crater, and Sunset Crater. It is named for its brilliantly colored scoria deposits on the cone and only one of more than 550 vents of the vast San Francisco volcanic field. More than 400 years passed before vegetation began to grow — and slowly plant pioneers began to recolonize the land. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. Connect with the parks you love. Powerful explosions profoundly affected the lives of the local population and forever changed the landscape and ecology of the area. Sunset Crater is one of the youngest geological features in Arizona, only about 900 years old. Across the road from A’a Trail and Lava’s Edge Trail you can hike through the ponderosa pine forest on the Lenox Crater Trail. When Sunset Crater Volcano erupted, it turned the landscape into an incinerated, sterilized blast zone. Remember to watch for wildlife on the road, pronghorn often show up around dawn and dusk. The main crater at the summit is 400 feet (120 m) in diameter. Also make time for a fun road trip to Winslow Arizona then continue to the Petrified Forest National Park. In the aftermath of the eruption, what’s left behind at Sunset Crater is a landscape that has been altered slightly further, with a few hiking and interpretive trails. Here, you can take in the beauty of the red rocks and painted desert vistas of nearby Wupatki. Around 1085 the ground began to shake, and lava spewed high into the air. Sunset Crater and Lenox Crater Volcanoes were born in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100. Scroll to the bottom of this post for info on the campground  and fees for camping. Privacy Notice: The National Park Foundation adheres to the privacy policy found at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Now I enjoy traveling while still earning a living as a bookkeeper. Walking along the base of the Sunset Crater this interpretive trail is the best hiking trail if you can only do one hike at Sunset Crater. Sunset Crater, located about 25 km (15 mi) northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, is one of the youngest scoria cones in the contiguous United States and is the youngest of about 600 such cones in the San Francisco Volcanic Field. It is a classic cinder cone whose red and orange tints are due to oxidation by steaming hot gases which continued for some time after the other volcanic activity subsided. Rock Types Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument's most common rocks are igneous rocks. Walking the short trail within the lava flow of the A’a path at Sunset Crater you can see how sharp the lava looks. I visited Sunset Crater Volcano NM a couple of times on my recent trip. Around 1085, Sunset Crater Volcano erupted—forever changing the landscape and lives of those who lived there. Strombolian eruption built Sunset Crater Volcano and blanketed an area of at least 2000 km2 with cinders. Sunset Crater is in the eastern part of the San Francisco volcanic field. Tax identification number: 52-1086761. Visit Sunset Crater Volcano Flagstaff Arizona, Snowshoeing Chester Lake Kananaskis Alberta, Camping fees are $26 per night for up to 8 people with 1 vehicle, Tents, motor homes and trailers under 42′ are permitted. The volcano's red rim and the dark lava flows seem to have cooled and hardened to a jagged surface only yesterday. Unlike Sunset Crater, there is a paved road to the top of this volcano. While still a tough place to survive, today cave-like lava tubes and cracks in the lava flows provide shelter for insects, spiders, lizards, rodents and bats. The mountains are mainly jet black ash, with regions of rust red and a tree here or there. Once uninhabitable, discover how this Arizona landscape bounced back from a devastating volcanic eruption. Susan, Your email address will not be published. Photograph courtesy of the National Park Service. And the surrounding pine forests offer a protective habitat for mule deer, elk, pronghorns, bobcats, coyotes, Alberts squirrels, cottontails, and porcupines. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 78 reviews of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument "My National Parks pass pays for itself here. Arizona's Sunset Crater Volcano reshaped the nearby landscape, and now offers hiking, scenery of flora like Ponderosa Pines, and an array of wildlife. Offering rim to rim hiking, mule rides, and whitewater rafting, Grand Canyon National Park is a hugely popular national park destination. Two lava flows, the Kana’a and the Bonito flows, effused from the base of the cone. San Francisco Mountain and Sunset Crater are only two of the hundreds of volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, which covers about 1,800 square miles of northern Arizona. But it’s nice to get an idea of where everything is before you go. Sunset Crater is a colorful volcanic cone composed of lava fragments called cinders. One fee covers entrance to both Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument for seven days. Today Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument protects 3040 acres representing the Colorado Plateau’s most recent volcanic eruption. By submitting my email, I agree to receive correspondence from the National Park Foundation. Sunset Crater volcano itself is one of the youngest, with its eruption only around 900 years ago. While there is no camping at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, the Bonito Campground, operated by the US Forest Service, is located across from the visitor center at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. When visiting Sunset Crater Volcano, prepare for extreme weather conditions. The first is the park’s namesake, a 1000-foot-tall (305 m) cinder cone that erupted sometime around 1085 CE. High winds can occur year-round, with summer temperatures above 95ºF, afternoon storms July through September, and snow from fall to spring. Sunset Crater, a basaltic cinder cone in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona, erupted in 1085 A.D. Cheers, In this post you will get to know all about visiting Sunset Crater in Flagstaff Arizona, including hiking trails and camping. Sunset Crater Volcano. Join our community. It preserves a tiny portion of the hundreds of extinct volcanoes within the San Francisco Volcanic Field. Today, visitors can explore the Bonito lava flow and various volcanic features. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sunset Crater. Susan Moore (Solo Trips And Tips) is a participant in the Amazon.com Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. These statements are linked to the purpose of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and are supported by data, research, and consensus. Sunset Crater is northeast of Flagstaff Arizona, allow about 40 minutes driving time from downtown Flagstaff to the park. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is a small, understated gem of a park just outside Flagstaff Arizona. Sign up to receive the latest NPF news, information on how you can support our national treasures, and travel ideas for your next trip to the parks. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is the slightly tautological name given to an area northeast of Flagstaff containing the results of much igneous activity - several colorful cinder cones formed by extinct volcanoes, and large expanses of lava and ash, mostly unobscured by vegetation and still pure black in color. It was created when molten rock spewed from a crack in the ground, high into the air, solidified, then fell back as cinders or ash. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Home » North America » USA » Visit Sunset Crater Volcano Flagstaff Arizona. While at Sunset Crater National Monument you can get by without a map in hand because there are maps posted at each of the hiking trails. Solo Trips and Tips – a travel blog by Susan Moore, solo female traveler and digital nomad, provides advice, guides, and stories about traveling alone. Protects 3040 acres representing the Colorado Plateau’s most recent volcanic eruption the land 1150 AD and it’s easy to all. 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