Friday
Jul062012

Meteor Crater (Barringer Crater)

Tour Description: This unique geologic feature is located 35 miles east of Flagstaff near Winslow, Arizona. Formed about 50,000 years ago when a giant meteorite struck the earth, the resulting crater is well preserved in the desert environment of northern Arizona. The tour starts at the visitor center, located on the rim of the crater. There is an excellent museum and interactive discovery center describing the meteor's impact and other related features. An interesting 10 minute movie describes meteor impacts and collisions throughout the solar system. Visitors can then take a one mile guided tour along the rim or view the crater from a platform adjacent to the visitor center. (Open toed shoes are not allowed on the guided tour.)

From Meteor Crater the tour travels 20 miles east to Winslow, famous for a lyric (...standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona...) from the 1972 Eagles song, Take It Easy. We will stop at a corner in downtown Winslow where the town has memorialized the song with a statue and a painted backdrop. The tour then goes a block farther to La Posada hotel, the last of the famous Fred Harvey/Santa Fe Railway hotels. It was designed by architect Mary Jane Coulter around 1930 and is an historic landmark. Visitors can tour the public rooms and eat at its well-regarded restaurant, the Turquoise Room.

Recommended Length: A tour of Meteor Crater and Winslow can be accomplished in half a day. However, it is recommended that it be combined with a tour of Petrified Forest National Park to make a full day's excursion.

Price Range:  Tour rates for a half-day tour of Meteor Crater and Winslow are $100 for a group of up to 4 people and $150 for larger groups. A full day tour that includes Petrified Forest is $250 for a group of up to 4 people and $300 for larger groups. Not included is the cost of transportation, which can be arranged. Entrance to Meteor Crater is $16/adults, $15/seniors, and $8/youths ages 6-17 and is not included. Meals are available at La Posada and several restaurants in Winslow.