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
Just a short drive Northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona lies a rugged land atop the vast Colorado Plateau. Here you can find what remains of an ancient Puebloan people. Wupatki National Monument protects numerous ancient dwellings of peoples who have long since moved on. Perhaps the main highlight of the Wupatki National Monument is the self-guided tour of the Wupatki Pueblo. As the largest dwelling in the region, it provides a great example of what life might have been like for someone living in such a village.
Be sure to check out the visitor center before you head out on your self-guided tour…and don’t miss out on the blowhole and ball court not too far from the main pueblo structure.
Wupatki National Monument houses several other archeological sites which include: Lomaki Pueblo, Citadel and Nalakihu pueblos, and Wukoki Pueblo. Be sure to spend some time enjoying the nuances of these unique structures. And, as always, visit with care to ensure future visitors are able to equally enjoy these fragile resources.
Visitor Center: open daily (except Dec 25th); specific hours vary by season
Trails are open during daylight hours
Fees: *Please note Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments are connected by a 35-mile loop road and both monuments are covered by one fee.
- Private Vehicle: $25 for 7-days
- Bicyclist/Pedestrian: $15 for 7-days
- Motorcycle: $20 for 7-days
Other accommodations: No lodging, gas stations, or restaurants are located in either of the monuments. The closest major services are located in Flagstaff.
Getting Started Info:
Distance: 2 miles with an OHV; 4.2 miles without an OHV
Length of Time: 1 to 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 400 to 500 feet
Difficulty: Easy with one short section of steps/rock scrambling
Red Rock Pass: You will need to purchase a Red Rock Pass for this hike. The day pass costs $5 and you display it in your car window at the parking lot.
Hiking The Devil’s Bridge Trail:
In the Beginning:
To start your hike up to Devil’s Bridge, you will walk Dry Creek Road for a little over a mile. The road is used for off-roaders and Pink Jeep Tours, so please be careful while hiking! Dry Creek Road is very bumpy and rough as well, so be sure to watch your step as you make your way up it.
Now that you’ve been walking Dry Creek Road for almost 1.3 miles, you’ll finally come to what looks like a small dirt parking lot. The lot should be on the right going up towards the cliffs, Spoiler Alert: This lot is where Devil’s Bridge Trail starts. The rest of your hike will be steep and even a bit of a workout. Don’t worry, though, it’ll be worth it.
The hike from here is only be about .8 miles.
Be on the lookout for a trail fork that allows you to go left or right.
Want to go on a different type of adventure on Devil’s Bridge Trail? Take a left at this fork, and you will be presented with a view from the bottom of Devil’s Bridge! A bottom view is a popular option for hikers who don’t like heights or folks who want a different perspective for photography purposes. I have never been to the bottom; however, it’s on my list!
The Instagram Shot
If you want to see the Bridge from the “classic instagram” spot and get your Devil’s Bridge picture of you standing on it, take a right and continue your climb. This trail will eventually feature some steps made of stone that’ll bring you to the top where your hike will be complete.
The View From The Top
After some off-roading on your feet and a bit of a climb, you’ll finally make it up to Devil’s Bridge. Will you step on the Bridge? Will you not? It’s like the ultimate “choose your own adventuyre” story. (Just make sure the ending of your story is a safe one.)
Looking for an unforgettable Arizona experience? With so much to see and do in Arizona, it can be hard deciding what to experience. Head outside the city centers and explore the one-of-a-kind communities that hold a charm all their own. From grand to small, to amazement and adventure, these must-sees will help you make the most of your trip.
A trail that spans 800 miles, a county known for its Old West Outlaws, an infamous highway dotted with kitschy attractions? You are sure to experience something unforgettable in Arizona.
Must See Arizona
From top to bottom and everywhere in between, Arizona will blow your mind.
The Grand Canyon
A national Park since 1919, the Grand Canyon is much more than just “a big hole in the ground.” Unique combinations of geologic color and eroded forms, decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles long, and up to 18 miles wide in parts. It’s also up to a mile deep!
Places to explore:
- The North Rim
- The South Rim
- Havasupai Falls
- Phantom Ranch
From ancient American Indian cliff dwellings, to mid-century modern marvels designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright, Arizona’s architecture has always surprised visitors with its variety. The Mission San Xavier del Bac, south of Tucson, is the oldest European structure in Arizona, combining the native culture of the nearby Tohono O’Odham Nation with the Mission’s Catholic heritage.
Places to explore:
- Taliesen West
- Hopi House
- Historic Architecture at Arizona’s State Parks
Arizona Dark Sky Parks
Arizona has more International Dark Sky communities than anywhere else in the world. Flagstaff was the world’s first designated community, and it has since been joined by Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, Fountain Hills, Camp Verde, and the Thunder Mountain Pootseev Nightsky community on the Kaibab Paiute Reservation.
Take in the sights and gaze up at the stars:
- Mount Graham International Observatory
- Lowell Observatory
- Kitt Peak Observatory
- Stay & Stargaze
Famous ROUTE 66
There are few drives as iconic as Route 66. Running nearly the full width of Arizona’s northern half, Route 66 takes travelers on a journey through quirky small towns, historic roadside attractions and motels, and breathtaking scenery courtesy of nearby parks, the Petrified National Forest and the Grand Canyon.
Get your kicks on Route 66:
- The Mother Road – Route 66
Check out these
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