Last Wednesday we went and saw the Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ. Yup, we went and saw a giant hole in the ground. That is pretty much what it is.
But what an amazing hole, I mean meteor crater, it was. It’s the most well known and best preserved meteor crater in the world. And it’s here, outside of Winslow, AZ, out in the middle of nowhere.
They say the asteroid was traveling at over 26,000 miles per hour and impacted earth over 500 millions years ago.
The crater that was created from this impact is over 1 mile across, over 2.5 miles if you walk around the rim and over 650 feet deep.
These pictures really do not do this place justice. Do me a favor, if you find yourself driving along I-40, stop and take a look at the crater and take the walking tour along the edge.
We had a wonderful guide that spent well over an hour talking about the crater and it’s history. And what a history it has.
In the center of the crater is actually an old mining shaft. Here’s a zoomed in picture. To give you an idea of how large this area is, to the left of the mining shaft is two large, and rusting, steam engines they would use for drills and pulleys. These steam engines stand over 12 feet tall!
The crater actually sits on private property and the original owners of the property thought that the meteor that made this large crater must have been the same size as the crater. Well…he was mistaken. He tried drilling for iron and other metals to try and get rich. After drilling over 250 feet down and coming up empty, he abandoned the crater mine.
Scientists believe that most of the meteor disintegrated upon impact and scattered small microscopic pieces miles out from the blast.
This picture shows remnants of the old mining house, that later turned into the original visitor’s center, that stood on the edge of the crater. It burned down back in the 70’s and they built the current day visitor’s center on another section of the crater rim.
We had a beautiful day to enjoy the meteor crater. As you can see, blue sky and sunshine. Luckily it wasn’t too windy. I say that because the visitor’s center keeps track of the wind and they tend to get some pretty strong gusts. The strongest wind they have recorded was over 120 MPH. Our guide said that wind sucked him right out the door. Crazy.
In the visitor’s center they have a short movie about the crater (which we watched before our tour) and the impact. They also have an actual meteorite on display.
This one that David is leaning on is actually over 1400 lbs! That’s heavier than a Volkswagon Beetle Car.
So go see the meteor crater while in the area. You’ll be glad you did. And their is a lovely rv park, the Meteor Crater RV Park, just up the road from it. It’s the only rv park in the area, so I recommend it.
We were there a few years ago. Amazing place. It looks bigger in person.
…and the government sent up a deep-well oil digging team to the meteor to blast it to smithereens and the team…oh wait, sorry…that was a movie…not fact. My mind gets confused at times…
Wait, I thought that is where a spaceship landed to take the “Starman” back to his planet???