I was curious to see how the Meteor Crater compared to a volcanic crater so I drove up to Sunset Crater Volcano to check it out. Well, I really couldn’t get the same view point from a rim like I had at the Meteor crater since I would have had to climb up a very slippery slope full of cinders. Never the less I did get a good feel for the volcanoes that erupted in this area. There were lava flows and cinders everywhere. The last eruption was 900 years ago.
The Ponderosa pines made every effort to establish them in this hostile environment.
Even flowers gave it a go.
I made a stop at Doney Mountain to climb the overlook and spotted a Gopher Snake at the start of the trail. They grow to a length of 3-5 feet. Even though it is not venomous it did give me a start until I realized it was not a rattlesnake.
Hopi people believe that their ancestors’ spirits, the Katsinas, travel from the San Francisco Peaks to the Hopi villages and back each year via Palatsmo (Sunset Crater) and Bonito Park. The Pueblo of Zuni considers Sunset Crater part of a much larger sacred landscape. The Navajo people believe the cinder cones surrounding Dook’o’oostiid (San Francisco Peaks), including Dzit k’idzitsooi (Sunset Crater), are the guardians or protectors of the peaks. This drawing on one of the signs attempts to symbolize those beliefs.
Beautiful San Francisco Peaks in the distance.