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Spotlight: Meteor Crater-Winslow

Set a course for the site of one of the greatest collisions on Earth

The history of Meteor Crater, of course, started with a bang. A big bang. More than 50,000 years ago, several hundred thousand tons of space rock traveling 26,000 miles per hour crashed into the high desert plains of what is now northern Arizona. When the massive plume of dust and smoke settled (300 million tons of rock were displaced by the impact), a crater spanning more than 4,000 feet across and descending nearly 600 feet deep was left behind.

Located 44 miles east of Flagstaff and 186 miles north of Phoenix, this natural attraction and the nearby town of Winslow are found on Interstate 40, making this an easy destination.

Cosmic Crash

When you arrive at Meteor Crater you’ll find yourself at the main Visitors Center, a state-of-the-art complex that’s home to an interactive discovery center, 80-seat theater, air-conditioned indoor viewing areas and signups for guided crater rim tours.

© 2008 Patrick Poendl

© 2008 Patrick Poendl

Check out the interactive Visitor Discover Center, where guest-controlled computer simulators, Apollo astronaut training exhibits, asteroid samples and a 1,400-pound fragment from the impact are on display.

Head outside and take an eye-opening, jaw-dropping peek at the real thing. A series of self-guided observation paths weave their way around part of the crater for breathtaking views.

Such a Fine Sight to See…

Winslow, of course, is a pop culture icon for two big reasons. One, for its location on part of a stretch of historic Route 66. And two, for its mention in the famous Eagles’ song, “Take It Easy.”

The key line from the song—“Well I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see/It’s a girl my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me”—has inspired untold thousands of tourists to stop and stand for a photo op on the most famous corner in rock and roll history. The site has even been transformed into “Standin’ On The Corner Park,” home to official photo ops and quirky Route 66 memorabilia.

For More Information

Meteor Crater Enterprises
Arizona Office of Tourism