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.