Phoenix With Kids

Arizona’s Mesmerizing Meteor Crater

Come and check out Arizona’s only meteor crater, and the biggest and best-preserved meteor crater in the United States! No joke! 

Chris Tingom

Come and check out Arizona’s mesmerizing meteor crater, and the biggest and best-preserved meteor crater in the United States! No joke! 

Marvelous Meteoric Mystery: Mesmerizing Moment at Arizona’s Majestic Meteor Crater!

There’s always one person in your group that will say “what’s interesting about a big hole in the ground?“

Well, I’m here to say that this hole in the ground is pretty impressive. Maybe not as impressive as the Grand Canyon, but Barringer Meteor Crater is everything you would expect a massive meteor crater to look like! It’s huge. It’s almost a mile across. And it’s over 600 feet deep. Just imagine the massive explosion that occurred here!

Check out our YouTube video for a full video review!

Getting to Barringer Meteor Crater it’s fairly simple. Just follow the freeway heading east outside of Flagstaff, I-40, and you’ll be there in about 45 minutes.

Things to do at Barringer Meteor Crater

Exploring the Otherworldly Beauty of Arizona’s Meteor Crater! Things to do at Barringer Meteor Crater include:

    1. Obviously, go and see the meteor crater. There is a walkway outside of the visitor center where you can see the Meteor Crater. They have several views, including some medium-range telescopes you can use to look at objects on the ground.
    2. Take a tour of the Meteor Crater. Guided tours are available and information about them is available on the website.
    3. Check out the visitor center.
    4. There is a museum that shows the history of exploration at the Meteor Crater, information about its discovery, as well as photos and video showing how the meteor crater was formed.
    5. The gift shop is actually pretty cool, and has lots of T-shirts, cool, rocks, hats, and other apparel, as well as space ice cream, which we purchased. I remember eating spicy ice cream when I was a kid and it’s not kid tested though only one of our kids liked it.
    6. There’s also a super cool and trendy coffee shop/bar at the Meteor Crater visitor center. You can tell they put a lot of time and money into making it nice. There are leather seats, and a western theme.
    7. There’s a 20-minute video that you can watch that shows how the meteor crater was formed and has some cool animations showing the impact.
    8. There is a 4D ride available at the visitor center and entry is included in the price of admission. The 4D ride will mostly appeal to children.
    9. There is an Apollo module out in the entryway that you can take pictures next to.

Check entry fees before arriving. A family of four can get in for around $68. More information on their website. 

Barringer Meteor Crater FAQ

How long would it take to drive from Flagstaff to the Barringer Meteor Crater?

The driving distance from Flagstaff to the Meteor Crater is about 43 miles (69 km). The fastest route is via I-40 East and Meteor Crater Rd, which takes about 48 minutes without traffic.

How many hours drive is it from Scottsdale to the Meteor Crater?

The driving distance from Scottsdale to the Meteor Crater is about 195 miles. The fastest route is via I-17 N and I-40 E, which takes about 2 hours and 49 minutes without traffic. The alternative route is via AZ-87, which takes about 3 hours and 22 minutes without traffic but goes through Payson. 

Did astronauts train at Barringer Meteor Crater?

Astronauts have trained at Meteor Crater. Apollo-era astronauts were taught by geologists how to read the lunar landscape at Meteor Crater in the 1960s. More recently, Artemis crews have also trained at Meteor Crater to prepare for exploring the moon. The reason for training at impact sites like Meteor Crater is to expose astronauts to the type of terrain that they are going to operate within.

Are pets allowed at Meteor Crater?

According to the official website of Meteor Crater, pets are not allowed inside the facility or on hiking trails. However, they do have a Pet Ramada where you can leave your pet in an outdoor individual kennel for a $15 fee per pet.

What is the history of the Meteor Crater in Arizona?

The Meteor Crater in Arizona is a bowl-shaped pit 600 feet deep that was created by a large meteorite. The meteorite was made of nickel-iron and had a diameter of about 160 feet. It hit the Earth at a speed of about 29,000 mph and released an energy equivalent to 10 megatons of TNT. The impact vaporized most of the meteorite and left behind a crater that is 4,000 feet in diameter.

More great day trip ideas can be found here!



  • Chris Tingom

    Welcome to Phoenix With Kids, a place where we share the cool activities we do with our children around the state. I live in Phoenix with my wife Jana and our three kids. I design and build websites for select clients.

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