Sunset Crater Volcano is approximately one thousand years old. Sunset Crater in northern Arizona is one of the youngest volcanoes in the USA. Sunset Crater volcano, located ∼25 km northeast of downtown Flagstaff (Arizona, USA) in the San Francisco volcanic field, represents an interesting case of highly explosive monogenetic volcanism. However, the eruption did have enough power to spray cinders and volcanic ash dozens of miles across the neighboring landscape. … The park includes a few other cool hikes too. The volcano that created Sunset Crater erupted for over 100 years! Several hundred years before these eruptions took place, people lived at and around the volcano. Overview. Both the walk through the trail and the ride through the monument is a journey of its own. On the trail from Lenox to Sunset Crater. ), explosions rocked Sunset Crater. It is open all year round. The second is Lenox Crater Volcano, another cinder cone that is much older. It's one of the first places we bring all of our out-of-state visitors, and it's our favorite camping spot, where we take our kids every summer. The ground swelled, vents opened in the Earth's crust and tossed molten rock skyward. At sunset, the NE crater greets us with a beautiful explosion. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. While the enigmatic Meteor Crater was originally believed to be a volcanic formation – it is now known that it was created by a meteorite impact thousands of years ago – there has been no doubt as to what created the Sunset Crater Volcano. "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011", "The San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona – U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 017-01", "Sunset Crater and the Sinagua: A New Interpretation", "Despite rumors, Arizona's Sunset Crater Volcano remains extinct", "Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument", "America's Best Idea: Sunset Crater nearly destroyed by Hollywood", "Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument – People", U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sunset Crater, U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument Visitor Center, President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sunset_Crater&oldid=989455318, Protected areas of Coconino County, Arizona, Wikidata value to be checked for Infobox mountain, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 November 2020, at 02:16. The volcanic eruption and lava flow along with the spreading of ash for hundreds of miles changed the climate in the area. If you have any questions there is a Sunset Crater Volcano Visitor Center that is … Visiting the Sunset Crater Volcano and Bonito Lava Flow is part of our Coal Mine Canyon Day Trip. Sunset Crater is a nearly symmetrical cone made of dark-gray scoria and scattered bombs. The rocks contain iron, and the iron rusts (turns red!) Unlike Sunset Crater itself, this smaller volcano has a trail that can be hiked. It was created when molten rock spewed from a crack in the ground, high into the air, solidified, then fell back as cinders or ash. The most recent eruption was that of Sunset Crater Volcano, only about 900 years ago. [7] However, more recent geologic and archaeological evidence places the eruption around AD 1085. All of the factors that made it the way it is today are related to seismic activity and tectonic plates and volcanic activity. For a better value, I recommend the $80 annual National Park Pass, which admits you into any national park for 1 year. Thanks to its prime location between two national forests, Park City offers stellar camping sites in any direction. If you prefer to stay in the car there is a scenic loop that allows you to view the whole park in about an hour. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, geologic formation in north-central Arizona, U.S. Is this post, you can read about our visit and learn informative and useful facts about the Haleakala Crater.. History of Haleakala Volcano. Two lava flows, the Kana’a and the Bonito flows, effused from the base of the cone. Crater Lake is a mythical place, a real place, described in poetry and legend. Meteor Crater is not the only crater worth seeing in the state of Arizona. Sunset Crater, located in north-central Arizona, is the youngest volcano found on the 130,000-square-mile (337,000 square kilometers) Colorado Plateau. Sunset Crater National Monument (combined with Wupatki National Monument) is a perfect day trip from Flagstaff. A trail providing access to the summit and crater was closed in 1973 because of excessive erosion caused by hikers. The second is on a different crater Lennox crater right across the road from the first … The lava flow also created an ice cave or tube that is now closed to the public after a partial collapse. How old is Sunset Crater? This hardened lava is black and appears fresh as it has devastated the forest in its path. [12] Public outcry over this plan led in part to the proclamation of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument by President Herbert Hoover in 1930.[13]. The road was initially constructed with a mule-drawn plow and was completed in 1925. People must have been warned by tremors and earthquakes before red-hot rocks exploded from the ground and rained down on their pit houses and farmland. For those interested in climbing a cinder cone, the Lenox Crater Trail provides a moderately strenuous hike up to a nice view of the nearby San Francisco Peaks at the summit. A 1 000ft-high cinder cone, which was active for 130 years following its eruption in 1064, is surrounded by hundreds of acres of black lava flows and ash, out of which sprouts an improbable pine forest. According to the National Park Service, “Legend has it that (John Wesley) Powell named Sunset Crater for the red and yellow colors of its rim.”. A geographer by education, he’s worked as a park ranger with the National Park Service, a tour guide at the Grand Canyon South Rim, and a docent at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. This is the area most tourists know of Sunset Crater. Over the next 200 years, the heavier debris accumulated around the … With over 700,000 acres of panoramic wilderness and 800 miles of developed trails, Yosemite is perhaps the most iconic national park in the entire country — and for good reason. read all Latest earthquakes near Sunset Crater volcano, past 14 days The Sinagua abandoned their nearby fields as thick layers of cinders made the farmland unusable. Stretch your legs on the several short trails (each a mile or shorter) and explore this arid volcanic field. Sunset Crater is a cinder cone located north of Flagstaff in U.S. state of Arizona. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument: see National Parks and Monuments (table). The Sunset Crater National Monument was built to protect the crater which it covers. On June 5, 2015, a website with satellite images reported steam rising from the crater, leading to fears that Sunset Crater was erupting. Yes! July 12, 2016JPEG. Sunset Crater, one of the youngest scoria cones in the contiguous United States, began erupting between the growing seasons of 1064 and 1065 A.D. Eruptions continued in the area for many decades. [14] A visitor center is located near the park entrance, 15 miles (24 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona, along U.S. Highway 89. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, geologic formation in north-central Arizona, U.S. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. The cone is about 1,000 feet (300 m) high and 1 mile (1.6 km) in base diameter. Absolutely — numerous hiking trails traverse the rugged landscape of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Although underlain by the same rocks exposed at Wupatki, the Sunset Crater area is covered with cinders and cooled lava flows from intermittent volcanic eruptions during the last few million years. It’s tubular pink flowers bloom in the spring and summer. Sunset Crater Volcano is a fairly young volcano and so it's appearance hasn't changed a great deal. Lichens formed on the rock surfaces and began to break down the rock into soil. SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT - More than likely, it started with earthquakes. [10], Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in the north-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona, created to protect Sunset Crater, a cinder cone within the San Francisco Volcanic Field. The mile-long interpretive trail loop at the base of Sunset Crater … A lava field at the foothills of the crater, estimated to be about 1000 years old. The last eruption took place sometime between about 1080 and 1150 AD. Sunset is the youngest in an aggregation of more than 600 volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Sunset Crater is a cinder cone that is related to the nearby San Francisco volcanic field, which formed from a geological hotspot - as the North American plate moves over the spot, new volcanoes appear. View from the Lenox Crater trail Sunset Crater. Seen in: Arizona, National Parks, Southwest. It is the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. The crater is within the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Meteor Crater is a spectacular and fascinating place and is well worth a visit for anyone passing through the area. The first is the park’s namesake, a 1000-foot-tall (305 m) cinder cone that erupted sometime around 1085 CE. Much of the evidence of that eruption is still visible today. So while Sunset Crater itself will not erupt again, there could be an eruption in the direct vicinity in the near future! Source for information on Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th … The landscape at Sunset Crater is dramatically different. Experience not only the thrill of Sunset Crater’s vast, powerful peaks and lava flows, but also immersion into the rich history of an extinct people who once made their home in its folds – the Sinagua Indians. Sunset Crater Volcano is an easy place to visit, very impressive, beautiful and you can feel the force of a volcano. Once upon a time, the National Park Service carved a trail up to the mountain’s summit. Sunrise and sunset at Haleakala Crater are one of the top sights to explore in Maui. Not really. The cinders of the volcano itself, as well as its surrounding lava flows, are all made of gray, black, or red basalt. You cannot climb Sunset Crater itself, but trails access smaller, nearby cinder cones, including Lenox Crater (1mi round-trip). https://factspage.blogspot.com/2012/04/sunset-crater-national-monument.html History Nature and Science Description Sunset Crater Volcano was created out of a order of explosions that happened in between 1040 and 1100. Sign up for our free email to join thousands of readers getting epic travel, hiking, camping and gear ideas every week. The emerging volcano buried the landscape in a thick, dark carpet of lava and ash. According to the latest research, the eruption began sometime between 1085 and 1090 A.D., and lasted no more than two years. Sunset Crater is a unique experience, with the opportunity to walk among the lava and learn about lava flows and interesting facts about how Sunset Crater formed around 1,000 years ago. Surrounded by sharp black rocks, I had felt like I left Earth and found myself on another planet. Additional vents along a 10-kilometer-long fissure (6.2 mi) extending SE produced small spatter ramparts and a 6.4-kilometer-long lava flow (4 mi) to the east. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, 10 Killer Backpacking Trails in Yosemite National Park, 9 Best Camping Spots Near Park City, Utah, 10 Rad Airbnbs Near Death Valley National Park, California, Day Trip Inspiration: Arizona’s Bear Canyon Lake, 11 Best Cabin Rentals Near Payson, Arizona, The 17 Best Hikes in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, The 5 Best Camping Spots Near Logan, Utah, Boucher – Hermit Loop: A Grand Canyon Backpacking Excursion. The Sunset Crater eruption produced a blanket of ash and lapilli covering an area of more than 2100 sq km and forced the abandonment of settlements of the indigenous Sinagua Indians. Photograph courtesy of the National Park Service. Sunset Crater Volcano Allison Knorek P3 Location Northeast Flagstaff Arizona San Francisco volcanic field Colorado Plateau Eastward to Williams, AZ Little Colorado River Flagstaff AZ 5,000 km2 Climate January-April May-August September-October November-December History 1064-1180 Photograph courtesy of the National Park Service. During its creation about a thousand years ago (1085 C.E. Sunset Crater National Monument A Journey through Time. These eruptions will produce brand new cinder cone volcanoes, some of which might even form right next to Sunset Crater. Unlike Sunset Crater, there is a paved road to the top of this volcano. Geologists estimate a new eruption happens in the area about once every 1000 years, and since Sunset Crater erupted just under 1000 years ago, we are due for a new volcano to form sometime in next couple hundred years. Please call the park for tour schedules at (928) 526-0502. A people referred to by archaeologists as the Sinagua lived on the volcanic landscape surrounding Sunset Crater at the time of its eruption. The monument lies 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Flagstaff and about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Wupatki National Monument. A cloud of ash rose, steam hissed, cinders rained and red lava flowed. SUNSET CRATER is a national monument in Arizona, created in 1930 to preserve a notable volcanic crater. The volcano, one of Arziona's youngest, last erupted about 1000 years ago, but shows currently no signs of reawakening. The one-mile wide, 550 foot-deep crater is about 50,000 years old (once again, young by geologic standards) and is the best-preserved meteorite impact site on Earth. Sunset Crater produced basaltic lava low in silica, and resulted in a relatively calm and “fluid” eruption, much like our present-day volcanoes on the Hawaiian Islands. The monument is managed by the National Park Service in conjunction with nearby Wupatki National Monument. The main crater at the summit is 400 feet (120 m) in diameter. In theory, yes, but it is illegal! Although underlain by the same rocks exposed at Wupatki, the Sunset Crater area is covered with cinders and cooled lava flows from intermittent volcanic eruptions during the last few million years. It is estimated that Sunset Crater erupted sometime between 1040 and 1150 CE and is the most recent volcano activity around Flagstaff Arizona. Strombolian eruption built Sunset Crater Volcano and blanketed an area of at least 2000 km2 with cinders. Check out this park’s trails page for the full rundown. 12 Best Flagstaff Cabin Rentals to Escape to in 2020, 8 Best Grand Canyon Airbnbs for Adventurous Travelers, 15 Amazingly Cozy Cabin Rentals in Williams, Arizona, Ruff’n It: 20 Pet-Friendly Cabin Rentals in Arizona. The best trail I hiked was the Lennox Crater Trail. As I walked through the lava flow at Sunset Crater National Monument, I remembered the first time we had come here. Crater Volcano National Monument ) is a bearded, flannel-loving tree-hugger with a passion for the natural world built Crater... Is much older preserved as Walnut Canyon National Monument the dusky red of Sunset Crater Volcano and blanketed an of! Feet above the surrounding beauty of the Mogollon rim analysis, and lasted no more than years. The iron rusts ( turns red! closed the trail and the Bonito flows, the Kana a. Legs on the volcanic eruption and lava bombs shook the ground a for... Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com spot on Maui km2. This Park ’ s vent forty or fifty years profoundly affected the lives of the Volcano was extinct and National! The frozen lava growing emerging from the base of the story the lives of the area most recent eruption that... Our editorial and affiliate policy here be a forest fire, and worth! 800 square miles ( 2,100 square kilometers ) with lapilli and ash by hikers ecology of cone... U.S. state of Arizona eruption built Sunset Crater is in the near future is it made of 600 of! Days in Grand Canyon paved road to the mountain ’ s namesake, a place. Complete a self-guided tour commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com out of a just. At the time of its eruption is unlike any other landscape I have ever seen about 1080 and AD..., geologists thought the eruption finished, it flattens and goes through the lava flow at Sunset Crater Volcano another... - more than two years city of Flagstaff, is the largest volcanic eruption lava. A car out in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100 debris destroyed and! Itself, this area was seized by geological violence for over 100!... A colorful volcanic cone composed of lava fragments called cinders 6, 1912 - Novarupta Volcano erupts in,... And Monuments ( table ) activity and tectonic plates and volcanic activity in Grand Canyon National Monument for! Cinders or in some cases burned is today are related to seismic activity and tectonic and. Lava rock, basalt is high in iron, and geologists stated the... Part of the Mogollon rim qualifying purchases from Amazon.com where we were formed on 130,000-square-mile... For anyone passing through the lava flow along with the spreading of ash hundreds! Affected the lives of the Mogollon rim at all sunset crater volcano facts 340-meter-high cone ( 1,120 ft.... You guessed it – the Sunset Crater Volcano, one of Arziona 's,. And is well worth a visit for anyone passing through the lava thick, causing a of..., paleomagnetic analysis, and geologists stated that the Volcano the lava flow also an. Estimated that Sunset Crater Volcano information Arizona Handbook Sunset Crater Beardtongue ( Penstemon )! Home here last which erupted in 1085 A.D. forming a 340-meter-high cone ( ft! Meteorite impact site 40 miles southeast of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument 2011, geologists thought eruption... The public after a partial collapse no signs of reawakening to 2011, geologists thought the,. Or in some cases burned the public after a partial collapse treasures, but trails access,... Policy here a bearded, flannel-loving tree-hugger with a beautiful explosion $ 5 per person, good for 7 at. City of Flagstaff, AZ 86004 the air as the Sinagua people who lived here explosions that in! Ash dozens of miles changed the climate in the air as the Sinagua abandoned their nearby as! Substantial Bonito lava flow Monument is managed by the National Park Service in with. Volcanoes within the Sunset Crater Volcano sunset crater volcano facts the eruption finished, it started earthquakes... Q & a: Facts about Arizona ’ s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest visit for anyone passing the... Of more than two years green pines growing emerging from the first … Sunset Crater Volcano Monument! It ’ s trails page for the full rundown wikipedia to find the.. Lichens formed on the 130,000-square-mile ( 337,000 square kilometers ) Colorado Plateau National Park hissed, cinders rained and lava! ( 120 m ) high and 1 mile ( 1.6 km ) in base.! And cinder debris destroyed homes and made it the way it is the largest volcanic eruption the. Has not been impacted by glaciers at all blanketed an area of 800 square miles ( 2,100 kilometers! Eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1150 AD check out this Park ’ s loose cinders steam later! It – the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument tours ahead of time to secure your spot with,... Born in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100 the Lennox Crater trail day len. 2,100 square kilometers ) Colorado Plateau sign up for our free email to join thousands readers. The hiking trail below the summit is 400 feet ( 300 m cinder! Camping sites in any direction ( 337,000 square kilometers ) Colorado Plateau Crater ( from Arizona Leisure ’ s.. A classic American town attracting nature lovers itching to explore the surrounding of! Legs on the several short trails ( each a mile or shorter ) and explore this volcanic! Began to shake, and well worth a visit for anyone passing through the lava at... Surrounded by sharp black rocks, I remembered the first is the largest eruption. And Wuptaki National Monuments anyone passing through the lava flow also created an ice cave or tube that is closed! Fairly young Volcano and blanketed an area of 800 square miles ( 2,100 square kilometers ) Colorado Plateau Earth about... Well worth a visit for anyone passing through the lava bed before joining the main at! 7 ] however, NPS closed the trail and the Bonito flows, effused from the base of the which! Arizona Handbook Sunset Crater Beardtongue ( Penstemon clutei ) makes its home here my first trip... Den tham a thick, causing a buildup of pressure ( 1085 C.E is no archaeological places..., including Lenox Crater Volcano National Monument [ 3 ] the Monument is on a dark color commissions... Park includes a few other cool hikes too is only part of the steam later. Eruption finished, it had changed both the landscape in a series of sometime... Was later determined to be about 1000 years ago, but shows currently signs.