Monday, June 8, 2015

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona

There are more than one volcanos in this area, and were active sometime around 1050.  The main volcano is now 1000' tall and closed to hiking, although people were allowed to climb it in the past.  Unfortunately, there is no way to see the crater at the top since there are no overlooks higher than the volcano.   As such, it was a bit disappointing that the photo below is about the only photo I could get.  And it does look much like other hills in the area.
There was a smaller volcano that was open to exploring, so I climbed the very steep side of it to the top.  At 7000' altitude, it was a strenuous climb for someone used to sea level.  The views were great - lots of tall pine trees and views of mountains in the distance as well as views of the lava flows.  The photo below shows the lava flow to the right between the trees.
When I finally reached the top, I was rewarded with the view of the San Francisco peaks, still with snow on the tops.  It made it worth the trip - and going downhill was easier than climbing up!

As I was coming back down the hill, I saw this view of the lava flow area.  Trees and bushes seem to be able to grow in this, as well as a few wildflowers.  The scenery in this area is beautiful, certainly a welcome change from the desert.

Since I'd had my workout for the day, I decided to take it easy for the afternoon.

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