A Google Earth image of SP Crater. The image clearly shows the crater and its spectacular set of lava flows that erupted from its base and flowed downhill to the north (top). Note the variations in color on top of the lava flows – the older (and broader) of the flows are weathered and support grasses that appear as green-gray patches. These are seen mostly around the flow margins where the quenching of the lava produced lava levies. There are two lava lobes on the west (left) margin that spilled over these natural levies into a low-lying valley. Younger flows on top of the older flows are not weathered enough to allow for grasses and they appear jet black on top of the older flows. There are least eight other scoria cones in this image that are much older and much more weathered that SP Crater. Some of these have elongate rims suggesting structural control of the vents. The light color in the upper left is the Kaibab Formation bedrock.
SP Crater from an earlier trip in January, 2011 shows the steep sides of the scoria cone.
The hike I undertook with friends began on the west side SP Crater (left) and generally switchbacked up to its western rim. Then we hiked around to the south side of the rim.
This is where the young rubble from SP Crater rests on the older material of an older cone.
Volcanic bombs are seen on the slopes of the volcano. One would not want to be hit by one of these dense blobs of 1000°C lava.
When hot spatter lands on the ground, it tends to squash and flatten out into distinct layers.
After achieving the top of the cone, a fantastic view to the south is obtained. In the far distance is the San Francisco Mountain stratovolcano. In the middle distance with a deep shadow in Colton Crater. It is a next on our tour of craters in Northern Arizona.
Close-up view of the agglutinate rim of the volcano. This hard carapace protects the unleaded scoria that lies beneath it. Through time the slope beneath this likley becomes oversteepened.