S.P. Volcano

This is the ancient volcanic crater north of Flagstaff, Arizona known as S.P. Crater. This is a cinder cone volcano in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, 25 miles (40 km) north of Flagstaff and is surrounded by several other cinder cones which are older and more eroded. It is a striking feature with a well-defined lava flow that extends for 4.3 miles (7 km) downhill to the north.┬áThe naming of this unique crater is a bit of folklore from the Old West. C. J. Babbit, an 1880’s rancher and early landowner of the mountain, expressed his opinion that the mountain resembled a pot of excrement (Shit Pot), and this became the accepted name.

Zedekiah: “I captured these images while flying north of Flagstaff on my way to Kingman, Arizona. This was shot very early in the morning hence the golden glow of the colorful desert sands. This is only a short distance from the Painted Desert.”

When viewed from certain angles on the ground, the combination of the smooth round shape of the cone, the dark lava spatter on the rim, and the long dark lava flow extruding from the base does indeed resemble the unfortunate name. But historically, mapmakers refused to spell out the full name, and the mountain has been shown on maps and other literature with the abbreviated name for ages.

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