We left Solvang for Yuma on Tuesday, only to find that the one attraction in Yuma (the Territorial State Prison Park) was closed. Boo-urns. The original plan was to spend a night in Yuma to visit the prison, but since it was closed and there’s nothing else worth looking at there, we left to spend the night in Tucson, Arizona.
While we were en route to Tucson, we realized that we had almost missed a major Arizona Attraction: the meteor crater! Because Morten has wanted to visit the crater since he was a kid, we made a huge detour up to Phoenix so we could visit the crater and the Petrified Forest National Park beside it the next day.
The Meteor Crater
It’s a big hole. A really really big hole. It’s probably the biggest hole I’ll ever see in my life (it fits ~20 football fields, is 2,400 meters across, and 170 meters deep), but it’s still a hole. Ok, ok – I’ll admit it’s kinda cool that we got to see something that was made by a giant meteorite from outer space about 50,000 years ago. But still…
Meteor Crater is privately owned, which is why the admission price is more than most nationally funded attractions at $15 US per person. The admission fee includes a one-hour tour around part of the crater rim (1 mile), viewing of a short film about the crater, and admission to the little museum.
Want more stats about Meteor Crater? Check out their website HERE. I’m not going to talk about the history of the crater on my blog because if you read that before going, you’re going to be very bored on the tour.
Tips for Travellers to Meteor Crater
If you’re going on the one-hour tour, don’t bother reading the poster boards in the museum beforehand. I did that while we were waiting for the tour to start, and there’s so much repetition between the museum, the movie and the tour that I got a bit annoyed.
- Wear closed-toed shoes if you want to go on the one-hour tour because it’s mandatory.
- Don’t buy petrified wood (or anything else for that matter) at the gift shop because the items there are ridiculously overpriced. You can get free petrified wood at random stops towards the Petrified Forest National Park (there are signs). You can also find desert roses cheaper at other souvenir shops in the states (it was over $35 for a small desert rose at Meteor Crater, compared to $8 at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque).
- There’s no such thing as a jackalope (jack rabbit with antelope ears). I’m so gullible that I actually believed the postcards and made a fool of myself by making a comment about them out loud.
- Eat before you visit the crater because the only restaurant around there is the Subway beside the gift shop and they charge more than normal (the same $6 sandwich at a Subway less than an hour away cost $8 at Meteor Crater).
- Take a look through the free telescopes at the Meteor Crater viewing area to see if you can find the cardboard space man in the crater. Very cute!