Meteor City Things to Do
Meteor Crater Museum
The museum is a private development but is actually quite good, covering not only this crater but all aspects of meteors and meteor craters found throughout the world. I didn't have time for the guided tour around the rim, but had a brief opportunity to pick the brain of the tour guide. She was really quite well versed on all aspects of the crater, the surrounding ecosystem, and anthropology of the region. The second image here shows the largest meteor chunk found, a nearly solid nickel rock tossed almost a mile away from the crater during impact.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Images of the Meteor Crater
I didn't have much time, so after paying the $15- fee (one adult ticket), I immediately proceeded to view the crater. My introduction provides information provided in the guide brochure provided with the ticket. In addition to learning about the origins of the meteor, there is interesting history regarding its discovery beginning with a scout named Franklin, of William Armstrong Custer calvary, who had reported sighting the "hole". The most interesting subchapter in the crater's recent history was some 26 years of work to drill for nickel deposits by Philadelphia mining engineer, Daniel Barringer. Although he had failed in his effort to find any significant nickel deposits at the core of the crater, his scientific study of the meteor crater contributed greatly to understanding meteor craters in general. During the Apollo Mission to the Moon, NASA sent astronauts for training at the crater. Today, the Barringer family runs the meteor as a concession with continued research under the guidance of the US Geological Survey. Among the images below, notice the fragmented condition of crater rim, the almost perfectly circular shape of the crater, and the peculiar center where excavations were done in an effort to find meteor fragments. The crater is very large and scopes are set up to highlight important features not easily seen with the naked eye. The walk around the rim is about a mile.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
A Very Big Hole in the Ground
The only thing to do in Meteor City, as far as I can see, is to visit the crater.
The admission ticket was $12, and I thought this was a bit steep for looking at a big hole in the ground (even if I had decided to watch the movie and look at the exhibits, which I didn't).
There is a 10-min movie that tells the story of the meteor impact. There are some exhibits to look at that explain meteors and space-related stuff.
There are some guided rim tours. You have to be wearing certain kinds of shoes for these tours and I can certainly see why. It's quite rocky out there.
Then of course there is the crater itself. It's hard to describe it. You'll have to see it for yourself. Of course, you can take pictures of it, but it's so huge that it's hard to capture meaningfully on film. It's so huge that it sort of seems unreal.
There is a great gift shop and a Subway restaurant here as well.
Meteor City Transportation
Getting There and Parking
This is one of the easiest quick trips off I-40 and shouldn't be missed. The Crater parking lot is only about 6 miles south of the highway, and there's a well paved road from which it's impossible to get lost. The Crater parking lot is large enough for a semi- and trailer to turn around. I recommend that truckers visit early in the day as I did.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
- Road Trip