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S P Crater, Flagstaff

5.0
#7 of 9 in Trails in Flagstaff
Volcano · Hidden Gem · Geologic Formation
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S P Crater is a cinder cone volcano in the San Francisco volcanic field, 25 miles (40 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. It is surrounded by several other cinder cones which are older and more eroded. It is a striking feature on the local landscape, with a well-defined lava flow that extends for 4.3 miles (7 km) to the north. American astronauts use the crater to train for moonwalking.
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S P Crater reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
12 reviews
Google
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TripAdvisor
  • SP Crater is an excellent example of a classic volcanic cinder cone, the likes of which you're not allowed to hike at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. You can hike it here, but it is TOUGH... 
    SP Crater is an excellent example of a classic volcanic cinder cone, the likes of which you're not allowed to hike at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. You can hike it here, but it is TOUGH...  more »
  • Was recommended by our son who had passed this way about 20 years ago on his way to CA. This is a one of a kind thing which kind of defies description. Cheap, too, if you have the right combination....  more
    Was recommended by our son who had passed this way about 20 years ago on his way to CA. This is a one of a kind thing which kind of defies description. Cheap, too, if you have the right combination....  more »
Google
  • An amazing experience to hike S P Crater. It's a steep hike, but totally doable and worth it as the experience is such a unique one, and the views from the top are out of this world! A couple things to keep in mind: 1) you need to make sure you get BOTH an Arizona State Land Trust Recreation Permit ($15) and a CO Bar Ranch Access Permit (Free), both of which can be obtained online and printed out 2) The hike is off limits from January 1 - May 31 each year for Golden Eagle breeding season 3) It is all dirt road to get there, and you are pretty much alone in the middle of nowhere, so plan accordingly and take your time as you climb up the crater and hike around the crater rim Happy hiking!
  • Easy to get to it just takes awhile. You can park at the base - I used Google maps and just followed SP Crater Road. Walk up the trail/road to the gap between SP and the another, older crater before you start your ascent, otherwise you will get very tired. The cinder cone is made of mostly small particles and it's a two steps forward, one step back affair, so bring plenty of water a take your rest breaks. Go in the morning during the summer to avoid sudden thunderstorms and lighting strikes. Absolute solitude and great views.

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