Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater which includes mountains
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Marvel at fascinating geological features and varied wildlife on the scenic hikes and self-drive tour that skirt this almost millennia-old volcano.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is a spectacular natural attraction and the most recently formed volcano in Arizona’s San Francisco Volcanic Field. Follow hiking trails and scenic roads to viewpoints and get up-close to the volcano’s interesting landscapes and wildlife. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument formed around 900 years ago following an eruption in a region inhabited by prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan people. The volcano’s cone is some 1,000-feet (305-meters) tall and the crater is 400-feet (122-meters) deep.

Start your visit at the Sunset Crater Volcano Visitor Center, where you can pick up information about the trails, guided hikes and ranger talks. Take a moment to browse the gallery of exhibits, which educate about volcanoes, their unique topography and the forces that cause them to erupt. Sit at the visitor center’s picnic tables to take in views of ash fields and the imposing volcanic slopes.

Choose from three short trails that present views of basalt formations, cinder cones and fossilized red rocks. Spot the rugged San Francisco Peaks and stand in places where hot lava once flowed. See birdlife, such as bluebirds, golden eagles and Steller jays, as well as lizards and snakes. A popular walk is the Lava Flow Trail, a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) long route that affords some of the best views of the volcano and crater.

An alternative to walking is to drive along a picturesque 34-mile (55-kilometer) long loop road. It takes in the volcano and the nearby Wupatki National Monument, a volcanic area home to the ruins of five prehistoric villages. Stop off at Cinder Hills Overlook for superb photo opportunities.

This striking natural landmark is about a 30-minute drive from Flagstaff. There is no public transport service so it’s advisable to get here via rented car. Free parking is available at the visitor center.

Access to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is from dawn until dusk year-round. Fees are applicable and are also valid for entrance to Wupatki National Monument. The volcano’s location does not work on GPS units so be sure to take a map. A schedule of guided hikes and ranger programs is listed at the visitor center.

Top Hotels Close to Sunset Crater National Monument

Flagstaff Country Mountain Getaway, Pet Friendly and Family Friendly!
Flagstaff Country Mountain Getaway, Pet Friendly and Family Friendly!
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Stay at this family-friendly vacation home in Flagstaff. Enjoy WiFi, onsite parking, and a garden. Popular attraction Sunset Crater National Monument is located ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (47 reviews)
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"Property was very clean and much appreciated. Being from the Midwest, we were surprised at the lack of outdoor yard, but that isn’t a knock against the property, it’s just not what we were used to. House is a convenient drive from GCNP and Sedona. Highly recommend. No complaints at all!"

Reviewed on Jul 30, 2022

Spacious, 1-bedroom, contemporary camper.
Spacious, 1-bedroom, contemporary camper.
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Stay at this vacation home in Flagstaff. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and a garden. Popular attraction Sunset Crater National Monument is located nearby. ...
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"Thinking that staying in a trailer may not be as nice as staying at a condo, house or hotel? Remembering a childhood experience or movie with a rundown, cramped trailer? Think again! This trailer is awesome - from reclining chairs with warmers, vibration massage and LED runner lights to a fireplace ..."

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2022

Country Home with Mountain Views, 4 Bedrooms
Country Home with Mountain Views, 4 Bedrooms
Flagstaff, AZ
Stay at this vacation home in Flagstaff. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and a garden. Popular attraction Sunset Crater National Monument is located nearby. ...
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"This property is perfect for pups. Lots of space to run and play. The house itself is comfortable and clean. It is a little out of town, about 15 minutes from major things. The neighborhood is quiet and no issues with neighbors. If you are looking for a large, clean space to hang out away from the ..."

Reviewed on Jun 6, 2022

Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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