|Address:||Interstate 40, Winslow, AZ 86047, USA|
|Working:||7AM–7PM 7AM–7PM 7AM–7PM 7AM–7PM 7AM–7PM 7AM–7PM 7AM–7PM|
Much updated. The owners are in the midst of a $20 million update and it shows. Visitors are greeted by a new entry pavilion where tickets are sold and new elevators raise them to the main level. A walled courtyard contains a tribute to the Apollo astronauts who trained within the crater ... including a "practice" Apollo Command Module. Inside youll find a nice gift shop and a Subway sandwich shop along with stairs and elevator to the top level. Significant upgrades have been made to the learning center with plenty of historical, scientific and hands-on exhibits to help visitors understand what happened when the meteorite struck as well as general information about other craters and asteroids, comets, meteors and meteorites...including the difference (spoiler...Asteroids are solid stony and/or metallic bodies in space (i.e. Ceres), comets are bodies in space consisting largely of frozen water or gases as well as other solid debris (i.e. Haleys Comet), meteors are these bodies that cross or intersect Earths orbit and meteorites are meteors that reach Earths surface. Any errors are the fault of my own feeble memory, not their fine materials). Outside the learning center are viewing platforms where visitors can see what happens when tons of meteor meets Arizona at thousands of miles per hour. It is stunning! Make sure that you dress appropriately. The wind on the viewing platforms can be quite brisk...often enough that they sell a T-shirt allowing visitors to brag to those back home that they "survived" the wind at the Meteor Crater. (During our visit, parents were using toddlers as ad-hoc kites by holding onto their "leash" and letting them step into the wind) Telescopes are scattered along the rim to allow visitors to examine the remains of the abandoned mine and so they can find the life size cutout of an astronaut on the crater floor...only then does one truly appreciate the immense scale. Highly recommended if you are in the Flagstaff, AZ area.
In Norway, they have something known as "allemannsrett" (literally; all mens rights). This allows the right of access to and passage through all uncultivated public land (utmark). So basically, you may pitch a tent or hike wherever you like in the nation, as long as you are not stomping a farmers crops. Nature should be a breathtaking experience free for all to to enjoy. Yes the taxes may be a tiny bit higher due to the expenses of managing the land without income from permits and fees, but I ask, is it not worth it? Now unfortunately Americans have the habit of being rather messy people; many of our national parks and forests are choked full of garbage and trash. If a law similar to allemannsrett were to be passed here (which I would strongly support), we would have to learn to pick up after ourselves and care a little more for the environment and the natural world. Lets face the hard truth. When it comes to preserving the wilderness and historical landmarks, the government defeats the private sector hands down. No I am not a socialist, but I recognize that the very nature of capitalism makes it difficult for a business to see the wonderful and breathtaking possession it has (in this case a meteor crater) as little more than a tourist trap that gives big bucks. I have no problem with a business operating this way because yes; it is the nature of Capitalism. But cant we give our nations beauties a provider whose worries and concerns extend beyond those of the cold hard dollar? And when that provider, the federal, local, or county government does have access to the land, Is it not our right, not as Americans but citizens of the earth to enjoy the poetic whimsy and haunting realities of Mother Nature?
Awesome. People need to stop being such cheapskates you spend money on everything else thats bad for you like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs,etc and its way more expensive. I drove all the way from North Carolina on a cross country trip to the grand canyon and wasnt expecting the meteor crater site to be along the way. I made the detour to go check it out with my family and along arrival it was already close it was a little past 5 p.m. So I made the decision to spend the night over in Flagstaff just to go back and see it in the morning. And I must say me my wife and kids truly where amazed and intrigued by the size of the crater. Was is it expensive no not at all not for something out of this world. And no I aint rich or nowhere near it, heck I didnt even have a job when I came here. I used some of my tax return money for this whole trip and I would do it all over again if I had the chance too because not everything in life is about money. Its about the good times the memories the experience the thrill etc. So the moral of the story people is stop being so stingy and tight and enjoy yourselves I know alot of you that walk away or turn around when you heard of the entrance fee probably had the money to go in and have probably have spend way more money on other dumb and useless stuff. Buy I do truly feel for the ones that really didnt have the money and really wanted to see this sight that really was out of this world if you ask me. I even offer to pay for some people that couldnt afford to get in because I really wanted them to see it. Its not like viewing it on Google earth or pictures words cant explain it. You must see with your own eyes. Thank you for your time reading my comment.
First let me say I would give it 3.5 stars, but I had to pick 3 or 4 and thought 4 was too much. The crater itself is an amazing sight. Nowhere else on Earth can you see something like this. But I have an interest in astronomy, so that might bias my opinion somewhat. The headquarters buildings, walk ways and decks around the crater were clean and first rate. My real problem with it, as several other reviewers have mentioned, is the price. $18 is twice what it should cost. For that price you get a 20 minute movie giving some of the background of the crater and a small tour along the northwestern part of the crater...its about 1 mile round trip. Our tour guide was Eduardo who was great. He was funny and has an amazing memory. He remembered the names of two people who had toured the crater the previous year. After youve done both of those, the only thing left to do is wander around the decks outside and take pictures. For $18 I want to be able to walk the entire length of the rim and go down into the crater, both of which you are not allowed to do. For most people their interest in astronomy and geology is probably not enough to find it worth the price. Was it interesting to me? Yes. Would I pay $18 to see it again? No.
You notice the low reviews are from people who never entered/experiened the facility? And all of the high reviews are from people who actually went in! The view of the crater is breath taking as soon as you step out on to the rim! You are humbled. The short film is great! If you take the guided rim tour you learn a lot!! No extra cost for that, but we tipped our tour guide. The tour guide literally covers history, geology , answers questions! You can even touch a 1,400 lb piece of the meteorite! The museum is really state of the art , and the kids loved pushing all the different buttons on the displays. The viewing platforms are at different levels, makes for great pictures! Theres also free telescopes pointing into the crater! So much stuff down in the bottom with interesting stories the staff told!! Airplane crashes etc! We enjoyed the gift shops! Their rock shop had amazing fossils and crystals!! Affordable too if youre a rock hound!! Theres also a pet Ramada!! We had a picnic at one of their picnic tables and saw one of the test capsules from when the NASA astronauts trained there. Over all great experience. Well maintained facility. The staff is friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Definitely a must see on route 66!!!