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“Relatively close to town & easy hikes”

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
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Private Tour of Five National Monuments in...
Ranked #14 of 112 things to do in Flagstaff
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Located north of Flagstaff, this crater was created by a volcanic eruption 900 years ago.
Reviewed April 18, 2014

I go out here fairly often. It is quiet and not crowded all year. It gives a good idea of the volcanic activity that formed most of the geological features in the area...there is something like 600 volcanic cones around Flagstaff. There is an easy paved trail, and some short dirt trails. The Volcanic Cone itself is closed to the public, something I used to object to, but the older pictures show the amount of damage people were doing to the cone. Fun to hike over the AhAh lava a mile past the visitors center on the left. No trails there, and you will need gloves and sturdy shoes or boots. Across the road is a short steep trail up to an old volcanic cone. It can be really peaceful in the winter. No one around, no wind, away from town and noise and I can smell the forest. I have seen some really spectacular wild flower fields, but the area is right on the border of some drier country so this might only occur a few weeks a year, or not at all during a dry year.

This is the way to Wapaiki National Monument so you can see both on the same road.

The Grand Canyon? No. But pleasant enough if you are not looking for grand vistas.

1  Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"lava flow"
in 285 reviews
"sunset crater"
in 303 reviews
"lava beds"
in 26 reviews
"visitor center"
in 136 reviews
"the loop"
in 98 reviews
"cinder cone"
in 61 reviews
"volcanic rock"
in 33 reviews
"hardened lava"
in 16 reviews
"painted desert"
in 80 reviews
"cinder hills"
in 19 reviews
"national monument"
in 84 reviews
"volcanic activity"
in 24 reviews
in 49 reviews
"san francisco peaks"
in 45 reviews
"short trail"
in 18 reviews
"quick stop"
in 18 reviews
"beautiful drive"
in 26 reviews

1,153 - 1,157 of 1,673 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2014

Feels like you're in a different world. Fun to explore, you can walk around and also hike around (which could be hard for some) down and over some trails, there is also the Lava Tube (not for those who are claustrophobic!) It is also educational, scenic and something different to do with the whole family, or just couples.

1  Thank Safire27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Fantastic park area to spend a few hours at. The crater looks great in the distance, but walking around with the black lava and the contrast with the white birches was just fantastic. The landscape looked otherworldly. My wife and I didn't have time for a strenuous hike up the Lennox Trail, but we had a great time taking pictures and taking the tamer educational walks.

2  Thank BlairConrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2014

A wonderful adventure back in time. A clean, well constructed national park, with a visitor's center filled with fun facts about the park. There are several pullouts that allow visitors to stop and take short hikes around the area. There are a few strenuous hikes (Lennox Trail) that require a little more time - 300 ft up doesn't seem that high, but when there is a 6% slant going up, it can take awhile! The view from the top is exhilarating and worth every step, but be sure to take plenty of water, take your time, and a walking stick would not be remiss. The sister park, Wupatki Ruins, is about 18 miles down the road and is a well preserved depiction of a now defunct way of life, circa 1100-1200 a.d. The cost of the park is $5.00 and will allow you into both parks - just show your receipt. Viewing the two parks will take most of the day. Things to remember: Take your time, your camera, plenty of water, picnic lunch (picnic benches are available in some areas), a hat, walking stick, sunscreen and your curiosity about all things volcanic and ancient. For those wanting more adventure, bikes are allowed into the park. Have fun!

2  Thank K W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 11, 2014

I was not aware there were volcanoes in Arizona, so close to the Grand Canyon. A nice park with enough pull outs to take some great photos.

1  Thank Thomas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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