A tour of Meteor Crater outside Winslow Arizona

Well, it seems the temperatures got down to 33 degree’s last night and after waking up at 5am, turning on the fireplace from under the covers when I rolled out of bed at 5:30 it was 67 degrees inside the RV. We consider that a success with just the floors on and the fireplace running for just a little while. We really like the heated floors and remote controlled fireplace!!

Today we planned to tour the Meteor Crater just 6 miles down the road but after reading a few reviews online we started to have second thoughts. We didn’t want to spend $30 just to see a hole in the ground, as it was described by a couple of the reviewers, and then feel ripped off afterwards. However we decided to take a chance and do it anyway and we are glad we did.

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I will say that if we hadn’t taken the guided tour and just walked around by ourselves we might have felt the same as the reviewers that gave it a poor rating BUT you pay for the tour in your entry fee so why not do it, unless you are simply physically unable.

The tour was filled with information that we would not have heard by just walking around AND it puts you on a secured trail with some views you would otherwise not be able to see.

After paying our entry fee’s we made our way to a short 15 minute movie and then immediately joined the 1 mile guided tour lead by John that took us out on the crater rim.

Astronauts used the crater to train for space missions. They learned how to tell a volcano from a meteor created crater. When a meteor crater is created the ground is pretty much turned inside out. In other words when a impact crater is created the material that was once underground is at the upper level. Therefore no real digging is required to get specimens that were once buried.

Astronauts used the crater to train for space missions. They learned how to tell a volcano from a meteor created crater. When a meteor crater is created the ground is pretty much turned inside out. In other words when a impact crater is created the material that was once underground is at the upper level. Therefore no real digging is required to get specimens that were once buried.

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The trail we hiked is only available if you go on the guided tour and we were joined by roughly 15 others.

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This Meteor Crater is a result of a collision between a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour and planet Earth approximately 50,000 years ago. And today, Meteor Crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep.

What's left of the only cabin in the crater rim.

What’s left of the only cabin in the crater rim.

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The site was formerly known as the Canyon Diablo Crater and fragments of the meteorite are officially called the Canyon Diablo Meteorite. And scientists refer to the crater as Barringer Crater in honor of Daniel Barringer, who was the first to suggest that it was produced by a meteorite impact. The crater is privately owned by the Barringer family through their Barringer Crater Company which proclaims it to be “best preserved meteorite crater on Earth”

At the beginning of our walk our guide made it very clear that he wanted everyone to stick together as a group. And during our return to the visitor center Diane pointed out a few plants that she wanted pictures of. Well we wasn’t the last people in our group bringing up the tail so I stopped and snapped a few shot’s. Then all of a sudden we hear John, our guide yell out for everyone to catch up LOL!!! Diane got us in trouble.

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As well as the movie and guided walk we spent some time on the self-guided trails taking in the views.

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There is another observation deck behind Diane and to the right. That's just below the rim.

There is another observation deck behind Diane and to the right. That’s just below the rim.

Taken from the upper observation deck. You can see another tour group in the distance at the first stop. That's Diane headed down the steps.

Taken from the upper observation deck. You can see another tour group in the distance at the first stop. That’s Diane headed down the steps.

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You could put 20 football fields in the bottom of the crater and hold over 2 million people around the sides to watch the games.

You could put 20 football fields in the bottom of the crater and hold over 2 million people around the sides to watch the games.

And we went through the small museum.

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Once we felt we had seen everything we headed to the on-site Subway sandwich shop and grabbed a foot long to share while sitting outside in the courtyard. It was a nice sunny day. There was a strong cool breeze out on the crater rim but the courtyard was well protected by a brick wall so it was pleasant sitting outside.

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After lunch we headed home with a couple stops along the way to take in the views. I may have said this before but I will be honest, I feel so much better being back in the openness of the desert after being on the east coast.

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Once we approached the campground I asked Diane if she brought or remembered the gate code. Her answer was NO but we can open the back gate and get in that way, it’s not locked. So we did,,, and the security guy riding around on his cart saw us and came right over. Diane got us in trouble AGAIN!!! That’s twice!! We had a nice chat with the security guard and then went on our way.

I was surprised how interesting we found, the big hole in the ground. We actually learned a lot while there. And after touring it I found myself wanting to know even more. The meteor part of it is interesting but so is the personal story of the Barringer family. Anyway here is a link that will tell you all about the history in case you are interested. http://www.barringercrater.com/company/

We have reservations at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park in Williams Arizona starting Tuesday the 13th and really wanted to do the train ride into the Grand Canyon while there but it’s an all-day event and just too long to leave Jack in the RV.

They do have a boarding kennel on site but even though all of Jacks shots are up to date we have not given him the Bordetella in over a year because we have not needed to board him. So when we got home from the Crater we started looking for a vet in Williams to get the vaccine but the pickings were thin and no one was open.

Diane called the kennel to see if they had any recommendations and lucky for us they sell the nasal spray version of the vaccine there!!! Perfect!!

So Diane booked Jack a nice room for Friday and booked us for the train ride as well. It should be fun. We visited the North Rim a few years back while on a motorcycle trip with our close friends Rich & Chris but have not seen the South Rim. So this will be new for us.

We have spots reserved on the Luxury Dome car going and a spot on the coach car on the way back.

So tomorrow morning we will pack up and have a travel day of less than 100 miles. That will feel good after the longer travel days we have been doing lately.

We enjoyed our short stay at Meteor Crater RV Park and would recommend it if you are looking for a spot to lay over if in the area. Or better yet if you want to visit the crater.

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One Response to A tour of Meteor Crater outside Winslow Arizona

  1. Thanks for the info on Meteror Crater…never been there. Can’t wait to read about the train trip to the Grand Canyon. That should add a whole new dimension to a visit to a spectaculr National Park!!

    Yes, you do seem so much more in ‘your’ element and glad to see you relaxed and enjoying life:o))

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