When we were traveling across Arizona last year we saw a few signs along the interstate for Meteor Crater. We opted to skip it and press on to bigger and better attractions. Maybe we should have stuck with our original instinct, but yesterday we turned onto the road installed by the private land owners bringing generations of curious tourists the six mile drive to the massive impact site.
There’s no denying that this is an impressive and well preserved impact hole due to the dry Arizona climate. Scientists estimate the meteor hit 50,000 years ago, leaving behind a crater almost a mile across and over 550 feet deep.
Seeing the site in person is pretty cool but the downside is the price of admission — $16 per person — which is just high enough to make you question the value of viewing a giant hole. They certainly have the advantage when you’ve already put in six miles of time and gas just getting there.
The platform in the above pic juts out over the edge and allows you a view over the rim. There are stationary telescopes fixed on different locations of interest such as mining locations where they looked for any remaining meteor.
We spent about 45 minutes there, looking at the crater, sitting through a short lecture and browsing the museum and gift shop. Once we were back on I-40 there are other gift shops capitalizing on the Meteor Crater fame and showcasing Route 66’s legendary kitschy charm — one of the best parts of this route across America.