Although not on the original agenda, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument was one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve yet to see on this trip. It started out with our parents’ visit to the volcano six years ago, also on their way to the Grand Canyon. When my mom brought it up just before our long drive to the national park, we decided that it would be a great idea to stop along the way to see the volcano that had erupted 900 years before (don’t worry- it’s dormant now!). Of course, Lindsey and I were also looking forward to working on our Junior Ranger booklets, which I had finally given in to doing after I saw how much fun Lindsey was having with it.
When we arrived at the monument, the first thing I noticed was the extremely powerful wind that kept whipping my hair into my face and blowing things out of my hand. But after I got used to it, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the extraordinary mountain that was almost completely bare of trees and underbrush. You could definitely tell that a volcano had left its mark on this part of the amazing national monument. There were cooled off formations of ‘aa’ and ‘pahoehoe’ lava that created xenoliths and squeeze-ups, which fascinated us greatly. Although we couldn’t stay the whole day, for we still had a long trip to the Grand Canyon, I was so happy that I got the opportunity to see an actual (though dormant) volcano during our trip.