We were looking for some place different to take a hike yesterday morning before our almost daily monsoon thunderstorms, so we decided to pay a visit to Sunset Crater Volcano, 12 miles north of Flagstaff.
This volcano was estimated to have erupted between 1040 and 1100, leaving behind a 1,000 foot cinder cone and miles of lava flows.
There are only two short (1 mile each) trails in the park. The Lenox Crater Trail takes you up a very steep climb on a cinder covered crater. At the top it almost looks like a parking lot, the area is so barren of vegetation.
Then we drove a bit farther down the road to the Lava Flow Trail. Volcanoes make for such an interesting landscape.
Especially with all the dead trees.
If you continue another 16 miles or so along the park road, you then come to Wupatki National Monument, which contains the remains of the Wupatki Pueblo. We decided not to drive on since the thunder and rain were already starting.
Speaking of thunder and rain, on Saturday night we had quite the storm. A group of young people were tent camping up the hill behind us, and many of them left during the torrential downpour. I bet they had a fun drive on the muddy road out of here, but I wouldn’t have stayed in a tent during that kind of weather, either.
It was quite a show.