Meteor Crater, Homolovi Ruins, Painted Desert, & Petrified Forest National Park Professional Review and Guide
"Meteor Crater was formed in 20,000 B.C. when a meteoric mass, traveling 33,000 miles per hour from interplanetary space, struck Earth. The impact, blasting nearly a half billion tons of rock from the surface, destroyed all plant and animal life within 100 miles. In contemporary times, this perfectly preserved, huge hole in the ground has tantalized scientists, who use it as a living laboratory.
There is also a campground and several hiking trails that wind through the ruins. The Painted Desert is the area due north of the highway; the Petrified Forest National Park lies south of it. Although the parks are referred to as separate entities, they are, in fact, contiguous. The Painted Desert offers a superb backdrop for travelers who enjoy the desert at its most delicately pastel, but the Petrified Forest is the better attraction."