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Published on Sep 19, 2010
Sunset Crater Volcano was born in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100. Powerful explosions profoundly affected the lives of local people and forever changed the landscape and ecology of the area. Lava flows and cinders still look as fresh and rugged as the day they formed. But among dramatic geological features, you'll find trees, wildflowers, and signs of wildlife.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is in the north-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona, intended to protect Sunset Crater, a cinder cone that is part of the San Francisco Volcanic Field. It is maintained by the National Park Service in close conjunction with nearby Wupatki National Monument.
In the late 1920s, a Hollywood film company attempted to detonate large quantities of explosives inside Sunset Crater in order to simulate a volcanic eruption. Public outcry over this plan led in part to the proclamation of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument by President Herbert Hoover in 1930