"Lava Flowed Freely Once" Top 5 Page for this destination Sunset Crater National Monument by BruceDunning

The Volcano ash is Unique

Besides being in Hawaii once, I cannot think of another place in US that has so much lava flow preserved and intact. The park was dedicated as a national monument in 1930 to preserve the lava rock and flow areas. It is only 3,040 acres, but is a part of the surrounding Coconino Forest. It also is connected to Wupatki Park from a 35 miles road that loops to meet in the north and end up back onto Hwy 89. The park is 13 miles north of Flagstaff and I-40 intersection

Craters are shown Here

The park has a number of different craters, but the Sunset is the main one. A secondary large crater is Strawberry crater in the more interior of the park. It is only accessible by hiking a long trail of 8 miles. The other craters are actually part of the overall Sunset landscape and Bonita Flow, the designated large area that can be hiked with much difficulty on jagged lava rock.

Map of the surrounding areas

This shows the location of the Strawberry Crater and the surrounding locations of the park and its proximity to Wupatki and Hwy 89. The drive through Coconino Forest is very nice and peaceful on the 25 additional miles from Sunset on loop road to Wupatki.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wonderful views and hiking abound
  • Cons:Not able to get to interior Strawberry crater easily
  • In a nutshell:A real unique site that is eery feeling in the folow rock
  • Last visit to Sunset Crater National Monument: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated Oct 19, 2009
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Reviews (6)

Comments (7)

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Bruce, thank you for these informative tips, special thanks for the maps.

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    Sounds and looks a geologically interesting area.

  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Looks like you had an awesome day here! I got snowed under on our visit :(

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    It's very impressive indeed... Thanks, Bruce! ><><

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2009 at 12:29 AM

    I am amazed that there are so few pages on Sunset Crater National Monument on VT! I enjoyed that place, thanks to remind me of this rather off the beaten path place!

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Yes those lava flows are very sensitive and it's true one has to be careful around them...very nice pages on Sunset Crater..good job, Bruce!

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Great pictures of a nice spot!


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