(see my other Location related posts) – While on our 2019 Road Trip my wife and I took the time to drive up to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. This is not in Flagstaff, Arizona but is only about 15 miles or 30 minutes north of the city (take U.S. 89 north for 12 miles (19km), turn right on the Sunset Crater – Wupatki Loop road and continue 2 miles (3km) to the visitor center).
Sunset Crater is about 900 years old, yet it is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. The cinder cone (shown above) of the crater now stands about 1000 feet above what was once just meadows and forest. As you can see in the photo above there is still a great deal of cinder from the volcano strewn about.
As you can see as well, there is still evidence of lava flow that resulted from the volcano.
While there has been some regrowth in the past 900 years, the soil itself resists in many places. The parking lot at the base of the crater offers a few hiking paths. Some paved, but others wander over the rough terrain offering a closer view of the crater and the existing flora.
The day we visited the crater access to the park was free (National Parks has a few free days per year). Normally there is a $25 per vehicle charge. This was not as impressive as the Meteor Crater, but still worth the time to visit.
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