Meteor Crater – Winslow Arizona

It seems that Tourists and Explorers have a penchant for large holes in the ground and Meteor Crater qualifies. Just 26 miles outside of Winslow, Arizona if you are traveling west on Interstate 40, or 44 miles out of Flagstaff if you are traveling east on Interstate 40, Meteor Crater is a natural phenomena that is not to be missed.

Meteor Crater Panorama - by Charley Carlin - For Stupid Vacations

Meteor Crater Panorama

Meteor Crater – Formerly Canyon Diablo Crater

Whether you are interested in astronomical events and ancient history, or even US History, Meteor Crater has a bit of each in the Visitor Center. The perspective on how a large rock can cause such a change to the landscape is worth some thought.

<center>Meteor Crater by Charles Carlin for Stupid Vacations</center>

Meteor Crater over a mile across

No amount of brochures, pictures or videos can give the perspective that looking over the Meteor Crater edge can give. The magnitude and force of a meteor to make a crater of this size is truly mind boggling. Yes it is a drive off the interstate, but not that far. Yes there is a charge, and its worth it. The view from the observation deck is expansive and for me breathtaking to think about the time between impact and the formation of a crater that has lasted tens of thousands of years. Truly incredible. Yes in summer it is hot as hades to be outside.  One does not have a choice where the meteor fell 50,000 years ago. The place sat undiscovered and misunderstood for so long. The history inside and the movie explain the current understanding and are eye openers for most. This is a must do one kind of a trip.
Enjoy, I did, and more than I might have speculated beforehand.

P.S. For a full lowdown on the history and the elongated arguments about whether it was a volcanic or impact creation is in Wikipedia for those who desire a deeper story revealing the claims made by scientists over the decades concerning the creation of meteor crater.

P.P.S. Be sure to see Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff  for an astronomical good time.