Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum, Odessa
Odessa Meteor Crater sits just minutes off I-20 West of Odessa, and is a fun and educational stop on the road when visiting the Permian Basin!
Know Before You Go
Call to check for hours, numerous websites had wrong hours, and as a result we arrived about 60 minutes too early.
It’s tempting, but metal detectors are NOT allowed at the site. Meteorites are mostly made of iron, and will light up a metal detector. As a protected site, it’s unlawful to remove any items from the area.
Overlooked for years as just an unusual depression in the earth, the crater was discovered in 1922.
Numerous attempts to find a “large” meteorite have failed, since the bulk of it burned upon impact. Small meteorites were commonly found all around the site.
A trail stretches around the crater rim, and also down into the crater.
There are two other, much smaller, meteor impact craters at the site.
The Odessa Meteor Crater, which is 650 ft. wide, is the second largest in the United States. The largest is the US being the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona. which has a radius of 3, 900 ft. Vredefort crater in South Africa is the largest at over 185 miles across!
The Museum houses pieces of meteorite, and has more information about the site.
On the grounds, there are picnic tables which make for a nice stop along the highway for lunch and exploring the site. We spent about an hour.
There are two geocaches hidden on near the crater, both outside the property along the road. One is small and the other is micro. The small one has a few things to trade, which my youngest son loves!
If you are new to geocaching, click HERE to visit geocaching.com, watch the video and get started! Our family loves it!
Just for fun, don’t miss the 10 references to the solar system as you leave the Meteor Site, marked along the road.
Depending on the age of your kids, pop in Armageddon or Disney’s Dinosaur in the dvd on the way to the meteor site, both deal with huge meteor crashes on Earth!
If you are traveling through Odessa, it’s fun to know a little about the region It only takes rolling your window down to recognize the air has a little different “scent” to it, this is due to the large number of oil wells and processing plants. Odessa is part of the Permian Basin, which is defined by the Texas Railroad Commission as “The Permian Basin is an oil-and-gas-producing area located in West Texas and the adjoining area of southeastern New Mexico. The Permian Basin covers an area approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long”.
More to do in Odessa
We enjoyed a quick drive past the Bush Home, onetime home of George W. Bush. The home is located at 4919 E. University Blvd.
Monahans Sandhills State Park has huge sand dunes for exploring, and the park rents little disc for sledding on the hills!
Grab a taco from Taqueria Guadalajara in Odessa, which was named by Texas Monthly as one of the 120 Texas Tacos you must eat before you die!
Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum
5599 Meteor Crater Rd., Odessa
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