Bonito Lava Flow  LbNA # 12515 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateNov 28 2004
LocationFlagstaff, AZ
Planted ByThe Nail Family    
Found By Connecticut Croaker
Last Found Aug 10 2011
Hike Distance?

Bonito Lava Flow Letterbox
Sun set Crater Volcano Monument
By Nailhead of the Nail Family
Placed 11/28/04

Directions: from Flagstaff, AZ go north on Hwy 89 appx 12 miles. Turn right onto Hwy 395 toward the Sun set Crater Volcano Monument. Pay the parking fee at the toll booth or ranger station and continue on toward the volcano. Turn right onto road leading to the Bonito Lava Flow trail.

This incredible area was once a large plateau just south south rim of the grand canyon. Appx 8 thousand years ago the ground began to shake and several volcanos began to erupt in the area most forming perfectly round cinder cones. Sun set Crater Volcano erupted close to 1000 years ago making it relatively young in geologic terms. During the course of the eruptions a side of the volcano burst open alowing lava to pour out onto the floor of the plateau. Lava tubes, lava bubbles and strange rock formations were created in the flow which spread out and covered an area almost as large as the volcano itself. After nearly 1000 years the landscape is relatively the same as it was just after the flow. The lava has hardened to black rock and only a few native trees and plants have retaken the area giving visitors a glimpse into the past of an amazing volcanic landscape.

Clues: Park at the trailhead and pick up an interpretive trail map. Follow the trail and pay attention to the trail map and information therein. When you reach post #11, continue up the hill to the top where a shady pine tree lives. Look uphill toward the crater and spot a tall snag. Standing next to the snag between its roots face the San Francisco Peaks and take a bearing of 270. Box is hidden under rocks and wood.

Be very careful when retrieving and replacing this box. There is very little cover and the trail is very popular with tourists. Please be as discrete as possible. Also, since this box is in the Arizona desert, take extra caution when reaching in to get the box. Snakes do live in this area.

After you visit this letterbox and visit the park, continue northeast on Hwy 395 and visit the Wapatki National Monument where there are many Indian ruins, remnants of the farming communities of ancestors of the Hopi, Navajo and other local tribes.

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