After leaving Winslow and heading west on Route 66 you will soon come to Meteor City, an abandoned tourist attraction that enticed travelers to stop for many years. Despite the name, Meteor City was never the name of a town, but, rather, it was a trading post. In addition to the many items that it sold, it was, and still is, a great photo opportunity with its geodesic dome and the world’s largest dream catcher.
The first business established at the site was a gas station in 1938. Three years later, in 1941, a store was also built on the site. Somewhere along the line the gas station closed. In 1979, a dome replaced the rectangular building that housed the store. Unfortunately, the dome burned in 1990 and was replaced by the current structure. After operating for years, the owners tried to sell the business. However, when they had no buyers, the property was left to nature, animals, and unfortunately vandals.
Today, though the building and its iconic dream catcher remain, it sits abandoned and deteriorating each day in the desert sun.
Just west of Meteor City, is the road to the Meteor Crater, some six miles south of I-40. The crater was formed approximately 50,000 years ago when an iron mass, weighing over 60,000 tons entered the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in the formation which is about 4,000 feet wide and 570 feet deep.
During the hey days of Route 66 a man named D.M. Barringer built an observatory just off of the Mother Road so that the many travelers passing by the area could see the crater without having to travel the additional six or so miles to the site. For just 25 cents, travelers could stand from the observation tower and see the crater through a telescope.
Today the observatory is nothing but stone ruins; however, a visitor’s center and guided tours are available at the crater itself.
Continuing west upon your journey you will soon see the exit of Two Guns. Here, there are actually two ghost towns – Two Guns and Canyon Diablo, one almost on top of the other. Located on the far side of the canyon, Canyon Diablo was described, during its heyday, like this: “Tombstone, Virginia City and Abilene could not hold a candle to this end-of-the-rail depravity.” Two Guns, built after Canyon Diablo was already long dead, thrived during the peak years of Route 66 popularity.
Today, both towns sit silently looking upon the canyon below. Located on private property, the site is sometimes inaccessible, with gates closed and photo opportunities available only from the frontage road. At other times, the gate is open, seemingly inviting a visit.