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Lava Flow Trail (Bonito), AZ

Guide 35 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 6,966 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Accumulated Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.25
Dogs not allowed
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8  2019-10-13
Sunset Crater
5  2019-10-13
Sunset Crater
5  2017-09-23 NatureNerd6
4  2017-04-26 chumley
3  2017-04-08 benbacome
6  2016-12-30
Lenox Crater
16  2016-05-28 cw50must
16  2015-10-03 KarMann
Page 1,  2,  3
Author hippiepunkpirate
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 36
Photos 2,877
Trips 657 map ( 2,276 miles )
Age 35 Male Gender
Location Peoria, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Sun  5:11am - 7:44pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Go With The Flow!
by hippiepunkpirate

The Lava Flow Trail is a 1-mile interpretive loop that accesses the Bonito Lava Flow in Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. 0.3 miles of the loop is paved for wheelchair access. There are plaques featuring pictures, diagrams, and descriptions located throughout the paved section. Throughout the entire loop are posts with numbers that you can utilize in conjunction with pamphlets for a self-guided tour. The pamphlets are available at the trailhead. Ranger-guided tours are also available, with the times posted at the trailhead and on the NPS website. I did this trail as a field trip for a 100 level Geology class at NAU, so I had a grad student as my guide. Without her, I would have missed some fantastic features, so I would recommend either tour option.

The trail itself is relatively flat with a couple of minimal hills. The terrain is rough, which translates to a slightly rocky trail. The Bonito Lava Flow is a basaltic flow of the "aa" variety, which means the lava is sharp and jagged. Somehow, various trees, shrubs, and wildflowers have planted their roots in this seemingly hostile landscape. The flow features many recent volcanic formations, such as lava tubes, hornitos, fissures, and squeeze-ups, plus views of Sunset Crater itself and the Inner Basin of the Peaks. For such a short trail, there are plenty of photo opportunities. Being located within a National Monument, don't expect to have the area to yourself, even during the week. All in all, it's a very unique area and one of those places that will have you saying, "This is in Arizona?!"

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-09-24 hippiepunkpirate
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    National Monument Fee $10-25 per 7 Days

    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
    $5 each - valid for 7 days Entrance Fees

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take US89 north out of Flagstaff. At about 11.5 miles past the Flagstaff Mall turn right at the turnoff signed "Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument". Pay the fee at the booth and the trailhead will be ahead on your right (it's signed).
    page created by hippiepunkpirate on Sep 24 2008 9:28 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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