The Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments tell the stories of geological changes in the area and the effects those changes had on the people who lived here around 1000 AD. The monuments are located on the same 35-mile loop, and one fee gets you into both. Sunset Crater is closest to Flagstaff. Stop at the visitor’s center at the park’s entrance and wander through the exhibits to gain a better understanding of what you’ll see at the monument. Sunset Crater features dramatic landscapes that you can investigate first-hand with relatively easy hikes. The Lava Flow Trail has a paved portion that is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Don’t ignore the plaques along the paved portion of the lava trail; they provide insight and will make your visit more enjoyable. Wupatki National Monument is about 20 minutes farther along the looped roadway. It features several preserved Native American pueblos from the time period just before the eruption of the nearby volcanoes. The Wupatki pueblo area features a narrow paved trail that is steep in parts, but it should be fine for strollers or smaller wheelchairs. Pick up a pamphlet to read about each historical station on the path.
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