Sunset Crater

Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks. The date of the eruptions that formed the 1,120 foot-high cone was initially derived from tree-ring dates, suggesting the eruption began between the growing seasons of A.D. 1064-1065. However, more recent geologic and archaeological evidence places the eruption around A.D. 1085. The largest vent of the eruption, Sunset Crater itself, was the source of the Bonito and Kana-a lava flows that extended about 1.6 miles NW and 6 miles NE, respectively. Additional vents along a 6.2 mile-long fissure extending SE produced small spatter ramparts and a 4 mile-long lava flow to the east. The Sunset Crater eruption produced a blanket of ash and lapilli covering an area of more than 810 square miles and forced the temporary abandonment of settlements of the local Sinagua people. The volcano has partially revegetated, with pines and wildflowers. The crater is the namesake for the Sunset Crater Beardtongue


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Information on Sunset Crater.

Bonito Campground at Sunset Crater (no hookups).

Entrance to Sunset Crater.

Sunset Crater visitor center.

The lava flow.

Tiny cinders cover the mountains.

Close up of the cinders.

Huge lava rocks are everywhere.

We have seen huge lava rocks 30 miles east around Grand Fall.

I am glad I was not around when this volcano blew its top.

Trees are now growing out of the lava.

Sign reads $250.00 fine for taking rocks plus $50,00 per rock.

Cinders cover the mountains.

We took the road less traveled.

We found some awesome swirls of cinder on the mountains.

These are called cinder hills.

cute little red flowers growing in the cinders.

They allow ATV's in this area, we drove our truck over the cinder trails.

We ate lunch here by the Cinder Hills.

We drove all over here.

Too fun driving on the cinders.

Lots of wild flowers.

Information about the cinder hills.

some of the cinder hills.

Sunset Crater, sign says no climbing the mountain.

Looking down toward Wupatki.

We head out of the mountains toward Wupatki.

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