Meteor Crater (or the technical name, Barringer Meteorite Crater) is a landmark located near Winslow, Arizona, which is about 35 miles east of Flagstaff.
The crater was originally called the Canyon Diablo crater. It’s privately owned by the Barringer family, which allows visitors to visit despite the pandemic. The cost is $22 for adults, but if you buy the tickets online, you save a few bucks. Parking is free, masks are required to enter.
The Meteor Crater collided into what’s now Arizona about 50,000 years ago. The widescreen theater in the visitor center is closed, but the observation deck and museum is open.
Included with admission is a 30-minute guided tour, where the guide gives you a history of the site, how the site was acquired by the Barringer family, and technical information about the crater itself, such as the breakdown of the crater contents.
Visitors are no longer allowed into the crater, but long time ago they were. According to the guide, people passed out because of the vast temperature change.
The museum had videos and photographs of past meteors which made physical impact on earth, to showing how much energy a crater impact makes. It’s a small museum but worth a quick look.
The observation deck had 2 levels: the lower level had telescopes set to show various points of the crater, while the top level provided a panoramic view.
The crater is deceptive as in the middle, where standing in the white sandy area is a cardboard cutout of a NASA astronaut, the height of an “average” person. Stephen saw it with a telescope, but to the eye, it doesn’t look like it’s that far away.
There is a gift shop which has knick knacks from meteor crater items, crystals, T-shirts from NASA to Route 66, and locally made food. There’s also a snack bar serving sandwiches and drinks, and a very clean bathroom.
They are open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Bring your hat and water, especially if you want to attend the guided tour.