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Best Crater You Can Visit Phoenix 2012 - Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater

Interstate 40, Exit 233

Phoenix, AZ 86047

928-289-2362

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About 50,000 years ago, a chunk of rock the size of several freight-train engines fell from the sky near what is now Winslow, hitting the ground with a blast not unlike that of a nuclear bomb. In just 10 seconds, the explosion forged Meteor Crater, which is 4,000 feet across. That's kind of scary to contemplate. But also really nifty. We found the drive out to Meteor Crater well worth the long straightaway of Interstate 40, since we linked up the trip with visits to the Petrified National Forest and Homolovi State Park. But Meteor Crater, as far as holes in the ground go, is memorable — especially the intense wind on the crater's rim. The museum at the visitor's center is top-notch for a facility of its size, with dinosaur bones and a meteor video game that helps kids learn how easy it would be for their world to be destroyed by space rocks. We're just hoping that meteors don't strike twice in the same state.

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