Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments Scenic Drive: Sunset Crater Trail

EASY 22 reviews

Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments Scenic Drive: Sunset Crater Trail is a 34.4 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for nature trips, birding, and scenic driving and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 34.4 miles Elevation Gain: 3,969 feet Route Type: Point to Point

kid friendly

nature trips

scenic driving

bird watching

views

wild flowers

no dogs

scenic driving
2 months ago

Nice little drive. Hiked all the little trails along the way. Good way to spend about 6 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

I recommend entering from the southerly entrance where there is a visitor’s center for Sunset Crater. You can then drive the entire 34 miles with stops along the way for hiking trails and scenic vistas. If you enter from the north it will be 14 miles until you arrive at the Wupatki Visitor’s Center. We enjoyed seeing both National Monuments.

scenic driving
9 months ago

This is not a stand alone destination, but we stumbled upon these parks while in Flagstaff for a trip to the Grand Canyon. If you have some time to kill and want to enjoy more things in the area I would recommend this scenic drive. It’s $20 per car and you get access to both parks with that price.

Incredible views on this drive & the road was easy to navigate

hiking
Fri Mar 23 2018

We had a great time making this loop and visiting the two National Monuments along the journey. We look walks in each of the National Monuments. The drive between the stops provided a real variety of ecosystems and some great views of the volcanic activity that created the area.

scenic driving
Sun Jan 21 2018

We were late at Wupatki - no people there but perfect colors by last sun beams - very special moments with these ancient remains

hiking
Tue Jul 09 2013

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.

scenic driving
Mon Mar 18 2013

Great drive. We stopped here returning from Banff in 2009. Very nice!

scenic driving
Mon Oct 08 2012

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.

nature trips
Thu Mar 01 2012

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.

hiking
Tue Mar 08 2011

While there were tourists all along the road, and especially at Sunset and Wupatki, I got the feeling that these are often overlooked by the hordes descending on the Grand Canyon and north. The drive was enjoyable, but the hiking at the key stops was the best part. You get scenery, science, history and native American culture all rolled up into one easy day. Some of the hiking is a little strenuous at Sunset, but otherwise, nothing more than moderate, and much of it is easy.

scenic driving
Tue Sep 07 2010

The drive is very pleasant and has a 2,000 foot elevation change. If you start at the Sunset Crater Visitor Center, you will be starting at a bit over 7,000 feet in pine forest. The drive will traverse you through and between various inactive volcanoes and out into a slightly rolling high plains of 5,000 feet. To the east the painted desert delivers a breathtaking view. There are many hikes and points of interest along the road. The visitor center will be able to find something to fit ones interest.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
Sat Feb 17 2018

scenic driving
Sun Nov 12 2017

Wed Jul 19 2017

Fri Oct 14 2016

Mon Jun 20 2016

hiking
Sun Aug 12 2012