APPROXIMATELY 50,000 YEARS AGO, a giant asteroid hurtled through our Earth’s atmosphere at 26,000 miles per hour and collided with Northern Arizona’s rocky high plateau. The meteorite, estimated to be only 150 feet across, weighed several hundred thousand tons. Its explosive impact created a chasm as high as a 60-story building and you could fit 20 football fields in the bottom with more than 2 million fans watching from the crater sloping walls. But to really comprehend the enormous size of this crater, you have to see it yourself. The science of meteorites fascinates a growing number of people all over the world. When one gains an understanding of these cosmic visitors – what they are made of, where have they been, how they got here and what effect their arrival may have on our planet – a visit to Meteor Crater becomes infinitely more meaningful.
Arizona’s Meteor Crater, located 35 miles east of Flagstaff on Interstate 40 at Exit 233, is the best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth! The visitor center located at the Crater offers guided rim tours (weather permitting), observation trails and decks, Discovery Center with interactive displays and exhibits, Astronaut Memorial Park with NASA test capsule, unique gift and rock shop and Subway® sandwich shop. The Crater Visitor Center is open 7 days a week, closed only on December 25th.