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Sunset Crater Volcano NP, Arizona

20181107_120926.jpg We continued our trip right after visiting Walnut Canyon, which is only 10 miles outside of Flagstaff. After that beautiful hike we returned to the RV and continued our drive. We wanted to find a spot for the night before the sun goes down. Shortly after, we were on 89 heading towards Sunset Crater. The park was about to close and we talked to the park ranger about overnight stays in our RV. The park has it's own campground , but closes for the Winter. Usually by mid October they shut it down.
Crossing over 89, directly across the Sunset Crater Volcano NP entrance, is an area that belongs to the National Forest service and allows campers yearround, free of charge. Of course you don't have electricity or hookups, but you can dry camp up to 2 weeks.
Happily we took Journey down the dirt road and set her up in an opening that was level enough for us to stay. 90_20181107_115428.jpg
All set up, it was time to relax.
We were back at the park entrance bright and early the next morning, for Landon to participate in the Junior Ranger program.
We still had to homeschool that morning, but had trouble getting a good hot spot connection. The park Ranger suggested one of the big parking lots further into the park, that has better reception. Sure enough! We connected and did school at the base of the volcano. 90_20181107_115224.jpg
With some classes done. It was time for a break and a beautiful hike through lava paths. In the background were snowcapped mountains , turning this place into a picturesque landscape. We drove through the 34 mile scenic loop that winds from Highway 89 through Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments. The scenic loop leads you from the high Ponderosa Pine forests of Sunset Crater, down nearly 2,000 feet in elevation to the red rocks and painted desert vistas of Wupatki. F3977631CA4A13B51A6D1C663EC62E08.jpg
90_20181107_121646.jpg Once we arrived in Wupatki the landscape completely changed from forest to desert, even the temperature was different. I couldn't get out of my winter boots quick enough.
Good thing we have our house on wheels. It was time to change into more comfortable clothes before exploring Wupatki.

Posted by Meike Carter 08:48

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