Hiking and Stargazing at SP Crater

Rate this Adventure Arizona SP Crater

Added by Moe Lauchert

  • Scenic Views
  • Solitude, you can get this place almost to your self
  • Camping is available
  • Easy Access
  • Great spot for hiking and trail running
  • 1.6 mile roundtrip trail with 800 feet of elevation gain

Off of the 89, just north of Flagstaff AZ, there is an unmarked dirt road just before a gas station. It leads out to privately owned land that's open to the public. Some friends and I went out there to get away from our day jobs. As we headed down the road, the land opened up in vast expanses of hills.

Some of these hills are dormant volcanic craters and we decided to see what was at the top. SP Crater is seen on google maps as a giant black pit with hardened black lava rock flowing from it. The hike up any of the craters is heinous due to the fact that it's all volcanic cinders. However, the view from the top made the strain completely worth it.

From the top you can see the south rim of The Grand Canyon and hundreds of miles in either direction. If you stay, or hike at night during a new moon, you'll see stars and the Milky Way. Flagstaff is one of the top rated "Dark Sky Cities" in that it takes actions to reduce light pollution. If you happen to make it to the top, be sure not to fall into the crater pit while you're standing in awe of the landscape.

Pack List

To get there:
  • GPS
  • Car with AWD or 4WD
If camping:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Tarp (if rainy)
  • Water
If hiking:
  • High or mid hiking boots
  • Trekking poles
  • More water than you think you need
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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Added by Moe Lauchert

Always eager to learn new skills and share my passion for the outdoors; I see every job as a window for self growth. I believe in the idea that every experience affects our worldview and who we become at our core. I value discovery, community and hearing other peoples stories. Whether its climbing, diving, camping, hiking or just sharing a meal; there is always an opportunity to serve others and create the connection that is essential to the human spirit. Photography is a way for me to share in those experiences with others, and teaching; a passage to impart that knowledge or receive new insight.

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