Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument was proclaimed on May 26, 1930, and was put under the management of the Forest Service before being transferred to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933. The park sits on 3,040 acres of land and is located in the north-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona.
The park was created to protect Sunset Crater which is a cinder cone that lies in the San Francisco Volcanic Field. This volcanic cinder cone (and its summit crater) were formed through a series of eruptions that occurred between AD 1040 and AD 1100.
One of the other unique attractions of the volcanic cinder cone, besides its majestic presence, is the beautiful color on the top half that looks like a sunset. In as much as there is a self-guided loop trail that is about one mile long from the base of the volcanic cinder cone, hiking to the summit is not allowed.
This restriction was as a result of excessive erosion that was caused by hikers and has therefore been closed since 1973. That said, visitors can still hike on other areas of the park and along specific trails. Additionally, visitors can enjoy other recreational activities like camping and interpretive programs.
Some of the facilities available for guests to the park include a picnic area, campground, visitor center, restrooms, self-guided trail, and museum. The visitor center is situated close to the park’s entrance, which is approximately 15 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona, along U.S. Highway 89.
Dogs are definitely allowed into Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, but there are some restrictions as you would expect. First, dogs should always remain leashed or in a secure enclosure. It is also important to mention that dogs are not allowed into the visitor center and into other park buildings.