Skip to main content

National Park Wednesday; Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Back between 2010 and 2012 I frequented all the National Monuments in Arizona.  In 2012 while in Flagstaff I traveled northbound on US Route 89 to Coconino National Forest Route 395 to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.


Sunset Crater Volcanic National Monument is a small National Park site surrounded by Coconino National Forest.  Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is named after Sunset Crater which is youngest volcano in the San Francisco Volcanic Field.  Sunset Crater is located 8,042 feet above sea level and rises about 1,000 feet in prominence above the surrounding landscape.

Sunset Crater emerged sometime between 1064 AD to 1085 AD.  The lava fields forced the evacuations of nearby tribes which occupied Wupatki National Monument to the north.  The largest volcanic lava field produced by Sunset Crater is the Bonito Flow which is 1.6 miles by miles.  While Sunset Crater is considered extinct it has been subject to scrutiny as late as 2015 when a forest fire was mistaken for volcanic steam.  The San Francisco Volcanic Field is a 1,800 square mile zone of the Colorado Plateau in Northern Arizona affected by frequent volcanic activity.  The San Francisco Volcanic Field is responsible for the eruptions that led to the San Francisco Peaks which is the highest range in Arizona.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument was declared in 1930.  Apparently a movie company sought to create an avalanche for a movie which spurred public outcry to clear Sunset Crater a National Monument.

While the peak of Sunset Crater hasn't been accessible by hiking trail since the 1970s nearby Lenox Crater is.




Sunset Crater has a trail around the base of the volcanic cone.







Near the edge of Sunset Crater there is an overlook of the volcanic vents which apparently erupted as early as 1064.


Forest Route 395 continues east of Sunset Crater National Monument towards the Painted Desert and Wupatki National Monument.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Ben Hur Road/Road 613 to Raymond

While returning from the Mariposa Area this month I decided that I wanted to visit the quasi-ghost town of Raymond and take a "off the beaten path" roadway to get there.  I found just what I was looking for in Ben Hur Road in Mariposa County which reaches Raymond as Road 613 in Madera County.


Ben Hur Road begins on the outskirts of Mariposa near Mormon Bar at CA 49.  From CA 49 the route to Raymond is signed as being 23 miles to the south.


Interestingly Ben Hur Road isn't named after the famous 1959 movie but rather a ghost town along the roadway.  The community of Ben Hur has records showing it had a Post Office by said name in 1890 which obviously implies the community was named after the 1880 novel.  Unlike most roads of this kind the story of Ben Hur Road has been told previously by several newspapers in the 20th Century.

Oakland Tribune (September 1950) Trip to Mariposa via Ben Hur Road

Rock Fence is label of history on Quick Rance (Fresno Bee 1954)

The Oakland Tribu…

"Governor Hunt Cuts Ribbon on Doomsday" - The drawnout legal battle to build the I-95 Fayetteville Bypass

It is Monday, December 15, 1980.  North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt and many other dignitaries take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony opening a new 17 mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Cumberland County.  The new road bypasses Fayetteville to the east and completes Interstate 95 in North Carolina - closing a significant gap in what many consider the backbone highway of the East Coast.  The new road moved Interstate traffic from an at-grade, four lane US 301 lined with numerous motels and restaurants onto a fully controlled and traffic light-free limited access freeway. 

Meanwhile at a Quality Inn along US 301 in Fayetteville, a billboard read "Governor Hunt Cuts Ribbon on Doomsday."(1)

The ribbon cutting put an end to over a decade long heated battle over the routing of Interstate 95 around Fayetteville.  One that made it all the way to the steps of the United States Supreme Court.



Interstate 95 in North Carolina History:

The 181 mile Interstate 95 has a unique story in Nort…

California State Route 1 from Interstate 10 in Santa Monica to San Luis Obispo

A recent trip to California State Route 1 in Malibu spurred my interest in revisiting a trip I did in 2014 which included following the highway from Interstate 10 in Santa Monica northward to California State Route 68 in Monterey.  Since I have covered the segment of CA 1 through Big Sur northward to Monterey County so many times I thought it was time to tell the tale of the rest of the highway southward.


This article specifically will cover two segments of CA 1:

-  What was formerly the first CA 3 and later US 101A from San Juan Capistrano north to Oxnard.
-  CA 1 between Oxnard northward to San Luis Obispo.

As stated above the route of CA 1 has been extensively covered on Gribblenation previously.  The previous articles pertaining to CA 1 can be found below.  Suffice to say that CA 1 is highly intertwined with the history of US 101 and has a ton of roadside lore.

California State Route 1/Big Sur Slide Special Part 3; Ragged Point Closure south to US 101 in San Luis Obispo

California …