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Ways to Experience Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
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All reviews lava flow sunset crater lava beds visitor center the loop cinder cone hardened lava volcanic rock cinder hills national monument painted desert volcanic activity scones short trail san francisco peaks quick stop beautiful drive
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Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We had seen the Volcano National Park in Hawaii so this colored our impression of Sunset Crater.
We started by walking the Lava Flow Trail (top section). This was interesting and a good overview.
After that, the rest of the stops were not all that interesting. We did drive by and quick stops.
It is an interesting monument but very quick visit.

Thank nancym290
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 17, 2018

We arrived early in the morning without checking the hours. The trails were accessible but the Visitors' Center was closed and we left the area via another exit so we did not have a chance to see what the Visitors' Center had to offer. However, the area is extremely interesting and the lava fields quite striking. The placards have a lot of information about the people who lived in the area, how the eruption affected them, and how plant and animal life begins anew after such an event. It was very quiet and peaceful without the crowds so prevalent in many National Parks areas.

Thank Catherine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 16, 2018

My husband and I stopped here after hiking the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We got there shortly before they closed so did not get to spend much time in the visitors center but it wouldn't take long to see the video and exhibits. The video was informative and made the drive through the monument mean more. The lava fields were interesting to see and it was worth the time it took to drive through the park.

Thank Vwilliams22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 16, 2018 via mobile

Called in here as en-route to next our next stop. Some incredible scenery with the lava trails. Amazing how plants can grow in such harsh conditions.
Lovely and quiet route around the park with good stop offs.

Thank CaroleD644
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 15, 2018 via mobile

As a first in a series of two weeks of August rides throughout the Southwest, we turned off 89 from Flagstaff to do the 395 detour through Sunset Crater to Wupatki, then back to 89. We did this in a car with our kids about 25 years ago, so the ride had a sense of familiar sentimentality, while remaining a spectacular journey through history of the planet to the history of local civilizations.

This ride takes you from pine forests through spectacular lava flows to desert and ruins. If you ride straight through, the entire ride would take about an hour. If you’re like us and like to explore, count on a couple hours or more.ti walk the lava fields and explore the ruins.

In motorcycle gear, we just stopped and gawked at most stops, but spent a lot of time visiting the ruins. Wondered why someone would build such a spectacular structures in such remote and hostile terrain. A sign said that three families occupied the structure. As with most of this stuff, no one seems to know, so anyone can propose their own theories and be as correct as the experts. This is a hostile and barren area that is not conducive to raising a tribe. Rather than a domicile, perhaps a lookout, fort, religious destination, or supply station.

Part of our lingering was to reminisce about watching our then 5 year old son galloping on the bluffs in 117 degrees when we first visited 20 some years ago. Desert rat became his calling, eventually leading desert maneuvers as a captain in the Marine Corps.

Sentiments aside, this was a good diversion from the otherwise dull straight dash up 89. Strongly recommend saving breakfast or lunch for the Cameron Trading Post, another hour up 89.

Thank Bdonnach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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