Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

This is the largest fragment of the meteor that's been found.

View from the rim of the crater with 4 photos stiched together.

View across the center of the crater.

Close-up of the center of the crater showing some abandonded drilling equipment.

View from the high lookout above the visitor center complex.

View of the crater from the same high lookout point.

The museum has many interesting exhibits - I found this to be...

(Ron Writing) It was 45° when we got up this morning (brrr..we do welcome the cooler weather). We left Flagstaff and continued east on I-40. After a short distance we stopped at Meteor Crater, AZ just 6 miles south of the interstate. We visited this place many years ago but since then they’ve added a complex of buildings housing a museum, theater, gift shop, and restaurant. We arrived just in time for a short movie about the site followed by a 1-hour guided hike along the rim of the crater. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the crater and all the research and theories related to how it was formed. Also the weather was very nice so it was a very enjoyable hike.

About 50,000 years ago a meteor estimated to be 150’ in diameter, weighing several hundred thousand tons, and traveling at 26,000 miles per hour hit this spot with an explosive force greater than 20 million tons of TNT. In a matter of seconds it created this crater approximately 4,000 feet across and 700 feet deep. There are at least 160 known meteor craters on earth and many of them are larger but this one is the most visible and well preserved.

We continued east on I-40 to Gallup, NM losing one hour as we crossed the border from Arizona. We arrived late this afternoon and are spending the night at WMSC. There are approximately 25 RVs camped here tonight.

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