Hikes and Trails

A trailhead sign stands by a wooden fence along a sidewalk. Black jagged rocks, scattered trees, and a mountain are in the background
Beginning of the a'ā trail

NPS / Owen Ellis


Backcountry hiking is not allowed in order to protect fragile geological and archeological features, as well as the recovering landscape. Hiking is permitted only on designated trails. Use caution when hiking: lava is brittle, unstable, and sharp!

Lava Flow Trail
Accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers! Explore the Bonito Lava Flow and numerous volcanic features while walking at the base of Sunset Crater Volcano. Pets are welcome on the paved portion of this trail. There is a pet station with waste bags at the trailhead.

  • Distance: 1 mi (1.6 km) loop
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy. The accessible upper 0.25 mi (0.5 km) loop has a paved, concrete surface.

Bonito Vista Trail
Accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers! Walk across a field of cinders on this paved trail for an expansive view of the Bonito Lava Flow and surrounding volcanoes.

  • Distance: 0.3 mi (0.5 km) round-trip
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy, Accessible

Walk in a ponderosa pine forest while viewing Sunset Crater Volcano, the Bonito Lava Flow, O’Leary Peak, and from the summit, sweeping views of the San Francisco Peaks.

  • Distance: 1.6 mi (2.6 km) round-trip
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous

A’a Trail
Observe jagged blocks of rough, basaltic a’a lava, formed as the Bonito Lava Flow cooled.

  • Distance: 0.25 mi (0.3 km) round-trip
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Lava’s Edge Trail
Walk under ponderosa pines, over loose cinders and rough basalt along the jagged edge of the Bonito Lava Flow.
Note: Pets are allowed on the U.S. Forest Service section of this trail only, 2 mi (3.2 km) round-trip. Ask rangers at the visitor center for details.

  • Distance: 3.4 mi (5.5 km) round-trip
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Sunset Crater Volcano NM Trails
Unpaved surfaces are depicted as dashed lines. Solid black lines show paved trails.

Last updated: August 12, 2023

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