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“I don't know if Monument is the right word....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
U.S 89 to Sunset Crater - Wupatki Loop road, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
928-526-0502
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Ranked #8 of 34 Attractions in Flagstaff
Type: Monuments/ Statues, National Parks, Volcanos, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located north of Flagstaff, this crater was created by a volcanic eruption 900 years ago.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“I don't know if Monument is the right word....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

It does commemorate a notable event. A tremendous explosion that left remnants that you can clearly see, feel and touch. For someone who has always wanted to go to Hawaii to see the volcanos....this is a good second place option. I give huge credit to the National Park Service for making the former "Sunset Mountain" into an attraction that can be enjoyed by all. The area around the crater is accessible to everyone. There is a paved walking path for those of us who are as spry as we used to be. There are trails for those of us who want to be in the thick of things. Or you can see everything from your car. Although I highly encourage you to get out and experience this incredible event that happened over 900 years ago. The lava fields are absolutely amazing as others have mentioned. There are no words to describe the extreme inhospitable lava that spilled over all the vegetation around the crater. It looks like it just cooled from the blast zone and all that remains is a burned and blackened. The former flora and fauna never recovered and all that is left is a colorful, ruggedly dramatic cave-like lava tubes and cracks that will coexisting with twisted Ponderosa Pine or some other plant that managed to take root. Maybe this is why the National Parks used the word Momument. It commemorates what was once alive. But don't be fooled. There is a lot of life when you look for it.

This was supposed to be a quick stop for us on the way to the Grand Canyon. We ended up spending hours here and there were not many people at the time (Spring 2012) of our visit. Our teenage children enjoyed exploring all the twists and turns around the lava spill. A word of caution: the lava is sharp. Imagine huge pumice stones. Which is essentially what the lava is…it does crumb to a fine sand. So you might not want to visit on a very windy day.

Visited April 2012
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful Views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

If you like seeing volcano's this is the place. Northern Arizona is loaded with volcano's and it is very interesting to get to see the inside of the cone of one. I think that the best part of the Monument is the lava flow. We always take friends and family when they come visit.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“True Natural Beauty”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Sunset Crater is an absolutely beautiful area to visit. Not just for those who enjoy hikes or Geological formations, but for those of you who enjoy natural beauty. I was awestruck at how beautiful not only Sunset Crater was but how the entire area was outstandingly beautiful.

The area is well worth a drive or walk around, to admire the lava flows, the natural fauna and the wildlife that is all around. A true gem and an amazing place to visit.

Visited August 2012
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Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
357 reviews 357 reviews
204 attraction reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
203 helpful votes 203 helpful votes
“Geology enthusiasts - don't miss this one”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

I really enjoyed this monument. The history of the cinder cones and volcanic activity in the region is dramatic and interesting. The lava flow hike highlights many interesting features and the lava fields (viewable from the road) are spectacular to a geologist's eyes. I doddled around the short trail stoping to examine many a detail. The spatter cone and lava tunnel were my favourite stops (brochure with stop info is $1 at Visitor's Center) and I also learned some interesting facts about the flora. I did the Lenox Crater trail and I enjoyed it. It is a challenging hike, but the views of the San Francisco Peaks from the end of the trail was very nice. I think the reviews that do not like the hike were expecting to hike into a crater -- this hike is basically hiking up a cinder cone slope. The best views of the lava field however, are from the roadside pullout.

Visited December 2012
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Greenbush, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Do the circle trip and find some lava”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Take the 2-3 hour drive from Flagstaff and knock off a few parks in a very scenic area. Very nice hiking trails, with a blown volcano in the background. Hikers are not allowed to the cone, due to erosion.You can walk next to the lava flows. The last eruption was thousands of years ago, so your safe! Try to get there for the park ranger tour. It is a informative insight to a bygone era.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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