You can just hear your kids now, can't you? "It's just a big hole in the ground!" Well, yes. But unlike just any hole in the ground, this one outside Flagstaff was blasted out over 50,000 years ago by a meteor strike.
Discovered in the late 19th century, it was originally thought to have been created by volcanic activity, a theory disproven in 1905 after over two years of research by the Standard Iron Company, and confirmed in 1960 by Eugene Shoemaker. The crater itself is almost 3/4 mile across and 570 feet deep, and located about 35 miles east of Flagstaff.
Okay, so what is there to do there? The crater, which is now privately owned, has a visitor center that features an indoor theater and crater viewing area, crater trail access, an interactive discovery area, artifacts and exhibits, a gift shop, and even a place to grab a bite to eat.
Guided tours of the crater rim are also offered, weather permitting. Appropriate footwear is required (leave the heels and the flip flops in the car), and budget about one hour for the tour. Admission is reasonable and hours vary by season, so do check the website before heading out.
Address: Take I-40 in Arizona to exit 233, then go six miles south on the paved road
Website: Meteor Crater
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