Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument - Flagstaff, Arizona
Updated: Sep 9
Sunset Crater Volcano is a cinder cone located north of Flagstaff, Arizona. The crater is within the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks. Sunset Crater National Monument was established by President Herbert Hoover on May 26, 1930 to protect its geologic formations. In 1990 the name was changed to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. It occupies 3,040 acres surrounded by Coconino National Forest. 900 years later, Sunset Crater is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. The volcano's red rim and the dark lava flows seem to have cooled and hardened to a jagged surface only yesterday. As plants return, so do the animals that use them for food and shelter. And so do human visitors, intrigued by this opportunity to see nature’s response to a volcanic eruption.
While the entry fee for Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is usually $25 per vehicle, there are days when you can visit for free!
There are bathrooms and picnic areas throughout the park.
Wildlife to Expect: Birds fly freely overhead including Stellers Jays, Pinyon Jays, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Ravens, Crows, Hawks, and Golden Eagles. Almost 1000 years later, this is still a tough place to survive. Vegetation is sparse and surface water is practically nonexistent.
Our experience: This was one of our 2019 stops on our Arizona Tour as arranged by Mr. JD Miller. We found the park to be fascinating and beautiful and if you like geology and science; this is a must-visit location.
Park location and contact:
6400 U.S. 89 Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Phone: (928) 526-0502