Hikes and Trails

Aa Lava Trail
Trail head of the Aa Loop

NPS Photo


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

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

A’a Trail
Observe jagged blocks of rough, basaltic a’a lava, formed as the Bonito Lava Flow cooled over 900 years ago.

  • Distance: 0.2 mi (0.3 km) round-trip
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Lenox Crater Trail
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

Bonito Vista Trail
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

Lava Flow Trail
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) round-trip
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy. The accessible upper 0.25 mi (0.5 km) loop has a paved, concrete surface.

Sunset Crater Volcano NM Trails
Unpaved surfaces are depicted as dashed lines.

Last updated: September 21, 2021

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6400 U.S. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004


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