Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum
Massive meteorite hole just off Historic Route 66? Yes, Please!
50,000 years ago Earth got shot! Right in the middle of the Arizona desert. Scorching in at 26,000 miles per hour, a 150 foot iron-nickel projectile struck with the force of 20 million tons of TNT. Yep, it happened. Following the explosion this meteor left a massive hole for us to gawk at. So, come visit and be inspired by the fact that you came 50,000 years too late for the initial meteor shower which would have ended with the whole lot of us seeing some serious stars.
The result of this meteorite collision was a colossal crater. In fact, the initial crater was around 700 feet deep and more than 4,000 feet across. Today the depth of the crater stands at 550 feet deep. That is to say it is deep enough for the top of the Washington Monument to be at eye if you were standing on the rim. Meteor Crater National Landmark is widely considered the best-preserved meteor impact site on planet Earth.
At a mere 6 miles off of Historic Route 66, this is a must-see stop on your Arizona road trip. Be prepared to spend some time exploring. Museums, exhibits, and films help you get educated on everything from the meteor itself, to the history of using it as training grounds for Apollo astronauts. Most importantly, there is a piece of the meteor on display. Therefore, the kids can even say they got to touch a real meteor. Bet their friends at school haven’t done that.
Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm (Open until 12:00pm on Thanksgiving & Closed Christmas Day)
Tickets: can be purchased online or on-site; group discounts available
Pets: not allowed inside, but a generous Pet Ramada is available outside the Administration area.
Winslow – 25 miles
Flagstaff – 40 miles
Petrified Forest National Park – 80 miles