Monday, May 5, 2014
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, AZ
We nearly missed visiting Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, having passed by the area without realizing it. After reviewing our map of places to visit in Arizona, we realized we had already passed by, but decided to drive back for a chance to see ancient lava fields. It was definitely worth the backtracking.
Sunset Crater erupted as part of a series of eruptions from 1040 and 1100. The people living in the area at the time, believed to be of the Sinagua culture, were completely uprooted after having occupied the area as farmers for several hundred years.
Today, vegetation around the area has partially regrown, evident by the wildflowers and pines that have sprouted up in recent years. We walked the 1 mile Lava Flow Trail, a loop that circles the base of Sunset Crater - we were in awe at how otherworldly the area looked, almost as if we were wandering around a lunar landscape.
See more Arizona posts here and more National Park posts here.