Occurring about 900 years ago, Sunset Crater is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. Most visitors drive through the 34 mile scenic loop that winds from Highway 89 through Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments. The scenic loop leads you from the high Ponderosa Pine forests of Sunset Crater, down nearly 2,000 feet in elevation to the red rocks and painted desert vistas of Wupatki. The visitor center is locate at the southwest entrance of the park and several trails are available for hiking:
  • Lava Flow Trail: 1-mile (1.6 km) trail with a 0.25 mile (0.4 km) accessible loop.
  • Lenox Crater Trail: A steep 1-mile (1.6 km) round trip. About 30 minutes up and 15 minutes walk down.
  • Aa Flow Trail (pronounced AH-ah): Located across from Lenox Trail is a small 0.2 mile (0.3 km) loop through the lava flow.
  • Sunset Crater
    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
    Standing section of lava called a 'Squeeze-Up'.
    San Francisco Peaks
    San Francisco Peaks from Lava Flow trail.
    Splatter Cone
    Splatter cone along the Lava Flow trail.
    San Francisco Peaks
    San Francisco Peaks from Lenox Crater rim.
    Sunset Crater
    Sunset Crater from Lenox Crater trail.
    Photos by EMKotyk