Experience The Surreal! Sunset Crater Volcano! Roughly 900 years ago, the eruption of this volcano reshaped the surrounding landscape, forever changing the lives of people, plants and animals. Hike the trail through the lava flow and cinders and you
Although all we did when we visited was go on the short and easy Lava Trail, there are other challenges very close by for hikers. Lenox Crater is a short walk from the parking lot and this is a crater you are allowed to climb, steep and about 1 mile to get up and down. Short distance back to the visitor center and next to the campground is the O'Leary Peak TH of 7 to 10 miles O/B depending on whether you go to the ranger tower or to the peak. We thought Lava Trail and other close by turnouts where very interesting.
This natl. monument is, in general, a place for casual tourists and families (not avid hikers and explorers). Maybe a good one-time visit. There are no decent hikes and it's the type of monument where literally everything is off limits except for the designated walk areas.
Pretty boring, to be honest. It's a drive-through experience.
Lava flow trail was the most interesting, as you actually get to immerse yourself a bit more in the actual feature of the place: volcanoes and crap.
It's unfortunate there isn't a trail to the summit of Sunset Crater, but when you see the "scars" on the mountain from former paths to the top, you'll see why they discontinued allowing people to hike the mountain in the 1930's. The remaining trail is a short and mostly paved route that loops through a 900-year-old lava flow.
Benjamin K. on Sunset Crater and Wupatki National ...
Very scenic drive. Seeing the remnants of volcanic activity in the southwestern US was impressive, as were the traces of early civilization. The short informative trail at Sunset Crater is excellent. Both monuments are well worth it.
I.m. P. on Sunset Crater and Wupatki National ...
This is quite a treat as the drive takes you thru various terrains. Once you get to the various pueblo ruins the desert and plains are beautiful. At the time of day 4 to 5 PM the afternoon sun was mellowed by winds that made for a great trip thru the park.
We started at Sunset Crater, a short hike to the "summit" was more difficult than I anticipated. The lava sand made for rough footing. The place was crowded. So we moved onto Wupatki where the ruins were enjoyable, the walk through the area was liesurely, crowds were non existant. We had great views of the Painted Desert from here. A nice scenic ride.