A chart-topper meets a cosmic collision in this northern Arizona destination. It’s been almost 50 years since the Eagles’ rock ’n’ roll hit “Take it Easy” put a “corner in Winslow, Arizona,” on the map, and about 50,000 since an asteroid left a mile-wide crater, the most pristine meteor impact site on Earth. Both hot spots — just 25 miles apart —are worthy of visits. It doesn’t hurt that the laid-back and historic town of Winslow is known as the “City of 10,000 Smiling Faces.”
The Meteor Crater Visitor Center is the place to start to learn more about the dynamic impact that left the stunning 550-foot-deep crater. There’s a film, an interactive museum and self-guided tours of the rim, plus a surrounding landscape that so closely resembles the moon, NASA used it to train astronauts.
Such a Fine Sight to See
Back in Winslow, you’ll want to take the obligatory picture at the corner of 2nd Street and North Kinsley Avenue, where a statue of a guitar player commemorates the Eagles’ famous 1972 hit about a wanderer who catches the gaze of a girl “in a flatbed Ford,” as recounted in the song’s lyrics. Don’t skip a stroll through the historic downtown and a stop at the Old Trails Museum, which showcases artifacts from the area’s past as a railroad hub and Wild West outpost.
Water in the Desert
Just south of town on state Route 99 is the Clear Creek Reservoir, a hidden gem that has been drawing locals for close to 100 years. You can swim, fish and picnic along the reservoir’s shores, but the truly in-the-know will rent canoes on-site and paddle downstream to the stunning cliffs of the nearby Clear Creek Canyon.
The Petrified Forest National Park to the east of Winslow on Interstate 40 boasts hiking and ranger-led tours, as does the Coconino National Forest to the west, where exhilarating sunsets pour over the area’s famed red rocks. Fishing, camping and hiking are easily accessible in the forest’s diverse landscape, home to ponderosa pine and arid desert expanses.
For More Information
Meteor Crater Enterprises
Arizona Office of Tourism