Road Trip Day – ! There is a loop road that goes thru Sunset Crater National Monument and loops around to Wupatki National Monument so that was our journey today.
Before we left, Bella spotted this little one on the picnic table – check out the ears on this squirrel – Interesting! (We found out later that this is an Abert squirrel.)
We packed our lunch and made our way to Sunset Crater NM. Since we did the Visitor Center yesterday, we continued to the Lava Flow Trail. There are two loops – paved and unpaved. We did the paved one first since there was a busload of 7 year olds who were doing the unpaved trail. – oh my! By the time they raced through, we were almost had the trail to ourselves.
This volcano happened over 1000 years ago and it is interesting to see the growth throughout the park. Areas were there was ash and cinder came back quickly but the area with the lava has taken a lot longer.
From the overlook- the lava flow – (the line of children ):
Another view from the overlook:
The unpaved trail took us down into the lava field – WOW! It was amazing!
What a gnarly Ponderosa Pine:
More pictures of the Lava Field:
A cinder cone:
Andy standing in front of a spatter cone:
Another view from the trail:
We continued on the loop road stopping at a number of overlooks. Sunset Crater from another side – this area had no lava flow:
When we came down from the volcanic field, there were all these white grasses – surreal scene:
The red hills are cinder covered vents running along a fissure – dormant now:
The loop road continued to Wupatki National Monument – see Part Two – .