Sunset Crater, Arizona

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Climbing to the rim has been closed for decades. Hikers were doing too much damage.

sunset-crater

I did the partly wheelchair accessible 1-mile (1.6km) trail Lava Flow Trail and some of the 1-mile (1.6km) Lenox Crater Trail. Both were snowy.

Sunset Crater AZ

Sunset Crater AZ

But if you are passing anywhere close to Flagstaff, Arizona, any time of the year. I recommend you make this stop. The Visitor Center is excellent.

rick-sunset-crater-az

The date of the eruptions that formed the 340-meter-high cone (1,120 ft) was initially derived from tree-ring dates, suggesting the eruption began between the growing seasons of A.D. 1064–1065. However, more recent geologic and archaeological evidence places the eruption around A.D. 1085. …

On the same road trip visit nearby Wupatki National Monument.

Wupatki Pueblo

Wupatki Pueblo

If you book in advance, Rangers offer guided hikes from October through April. Anywhere from two hours to two days.

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