Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

From One of the Informational Posters At the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument Visitor Center

Nature it says in the poster above, about one 1,000 years ago, a volcanic eruption profoundly impacted life. It reshaped the surrounding landscape, and changed the lives of people, plants and animals. Today, you will see and experience the resilience of life, of how nature heals in this volcano.
Tree Growing From Lava Flow

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is a park close to the Wupatki National Monument. Both National Monuments forms a scenic loop, that can be started at Sunset Crater if coming from Flagstaff,AZ or at Wupatki if coming from Page, AZ or Cameron, AZ. We visited these two parks on our way to Grand Canyon National Park from Page, AZ. The relatively undeveloped landscape in the area provide an opportunity to study the plant succession and the ecological change after the eruption in an arid volcanic landscape.
Lava Flow
Sunset Crater Volcano is a cinder cone volcano, and is the youngest dated volcano in Arizona. It is viewed as unique by geologists because it is a fresh and unweathered example of volcanic activity both within the San Francisco Volcanic Fielfd and within the continental US. 
The eruption here is considered to be the only eruption in the Southwest that was witnessed by local peoples. Whether the native people felt fascinated or terrified, they no doubt felt the need to understand what was going on and why was it happening. 
The landscape here still looks unhospitable. But in the midst of the starkness, you will see how life slowly evolves, and plants succeed. 

Fore more information about Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, please visit the park site here

Best time to visit: during the cooler months of November-April, as the summer time can be very hot here in the desert. 

What Else Can Be Explored In The Area: you may want to check out my posts on Wupatki National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park,AZ and The Grand Circle.
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  1. I heard that the lava soil is very fertile..
    Is it?

  2. It is wonderful to see and explore with its own uniqueness. It is amazing that trees are growing on what looked so dry, and infertile ground.

  3. Reincarnation.

    This is the evidence.

  4. Reincarnation.

    This is the evidence.

  5. I do lve to learn from other prople's experiences.. Thank you for sharing...

  6. Nice to see trees grow in such barren land and add a nice greenery to the place.