Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
The Colorado Plateau’s most recent volcanic activity was the eruption of Sunset Crater at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The monument, located north of Flagstaff in north central Arizona, was established to protect the significant geological resources. The volcanic eruption of Sunset Crater affected the lives of the nearby people, known as the Sinagua Culture. They moved northward during the eruption and were later able to farm in low-elevation areas made more suitable by deposits of volcanic ash and cinder. The volcano and associated natural resources continue to be culturally significant to Native American tribes. Within the monument, the volcanic features protect a unique natural area of relatively undisturbed vegetation and wildlife habitats.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is also part of the American Southwest Virtual Museum, a digital repository of photographs, maps, information, and virtual tours.