Friday, August 19, 2011

Sunset Crater Volcano Natl Monument

This is one of the several National Monuments in the Flagstaff area that I had never been to.


It would have been nice to climb to the top of the crater, but they closed it to climbing over 30 years ago due to rapid erosion. So now you must hire an airplane, or copy the picture on their brochure for your blog. (Guess which one I did...)


There is a great trail through the lava, though. The trail actually goes off to the right here - it took me a while to figure that out...


The lava was really spectacular, with green lichen growing on it. Trees seem to sprout up right in the middle.


Sunset Crater is the most recent volcano of the many in Northern Arizona. It erupted sometime between 1040 and 1100 AD.


In the Visitor's Center is a volcanic rock with impressions of small ears of corn in it, showing that the eruption forced the ancient people to move elsewhere.


The largest of the volcanoes was San Francisco Peaks.


It used to be one 16,000 foot mountain, but is now several peaks. The largest, Humphreys Peak, is now the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet.


Outside the monument is the Cinder Hills OHV Area, where ATVers and Dirt Bikers can climb the cinder cones to their hearts' content. There is also free camping there, if you don't mind the noise.


But Flagstaff is surrounded by National Forest land, and lots of quiet free camping among the Ponderosa Pines.

16 comments:

  1. Your photo of camping in the forest makes me homesick for the same kind of camping. Glad you are enjoying it.

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  2. Quiet. Free. Pines. Mind kind of place! Someday we'll fly over that volcano.

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  3. Okay, so what kind of plane did you hire?? :)

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  4. You just can't beat those western sunsets, whether with a crater or not!

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  5. Great photos, even the one you borrowed.

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  6. You mean you didn't hire the plane? That sunset picture is fabulous. Makes me want to get back down that way.

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  7. This place is on my gotta see list...ITS such a special place! I dont understand why ATV is allowed over the cider area and yet hikers are not allowed in other areas...weird--Im not fond of ATV's or Snowmobiles---now if they were electric that would be nice!!
    Super photos of your visit!!!

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  8. Did you get airsick, or have I guessed wrong?

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  9. Cinder Hill was our first real 'Boondockin' experience. The noise wasn't bad, of course we were there durin' the week.

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  10. I did not know that about the San Francisco Peaks. 16,000 feet - Wow!

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  11. Wow that sure is some crater there and very interesting history also. I just don't see the corn cobs in that picture maybe it is just me lol Thanks so much for the fun post and wonderful pictures!!

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  12. Wow how interesting this was... Loved the photos too!!!
    Have fun & Enjoy
    Donna

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  13. as usual I so enjoyed learning alittle about this breath-taking spot in Arizona....your photos are spectacular. Thanks!
    missy from the bayou

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  14. What a beautiful area. Love your last picture. The sky looks so lovely!

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  15. It looks so different without snow! We made a day trip to Sunset Crater in December 1999 ... the trails were closed, but the snow made everything look so nice that we didn't mind.

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  16. I thought this was a really interesting place. The distinct changes from where there is cinders or vegetation was kind of cool. Enjoy!

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