Study a massive impact crater, created by a meteorite in the northern Arizona desert that hit earth about 50,000 years ago.
Meteor Crater is a large meteorite impact crater and visitor center near Flagstaff, Arizona. The site is one of the best-preserved meteorite craters in the world. It features a visitor center with educational displays and a widescreen theater. Admire the impressive crater from many observation points on the rim.
About 50,000 years ago, a giant meteor dashed across the sky and hit the area now known as northern Arizona. See the impact from the approximately 300,000-ton (270,000-tonne) celestial object. The famous crater is over 3,500 feet (1,000 meters) wide and 550 feet (168 meters) deep.
Observe the site from the Meteor Crater Visitor Center’s indoor viewing area or walk on one of several self-guided observation paths running along the crater’s rim. The paths feature educational panels and observational telescopes, allowing closer looks at the impact crater. Join a tour of the crater’s rim, held when weather allows.
The Meteor Crater Visitor Center is an excellent place to learn about the site and about craters in general. The center contains many fascinating exhibits and an 80-seat widescreen theater. Watch a short film about the origins of Meteor Crater and walk through the center to see a meteorite fragment weighing more than 1,400 pounds (630 kilograms).
Shop for mineral specimens in the visitor center’s Meteor Crater Rock Shop. The shop sells native Arizona minerals, crystals, quartz and petrified wood. If you’re looking for other souvenirs, stop at the Meteor Crater Gift Shop. The visitor center also contains a sandwich shop with indoor and outdoor seating.
Drive to Meteor Crater from Flagstaff in about 45 minutes. Alternatively, reach the site with a 30-minute drive from Winslow. With a wide range of accommodations, the small cities of Flagstaff and Winslow are excellent places to stay when visiting Meteor Crater. See the attraction year-round; however, opening times change seasonally and the visitor center closes on Christmas Day.
With interesting displays and extraordinary views of the site, Meteor Crater is a great place to spend a few hours when exploring northern Arizona.