No permission is needed to visit the observatory, The Barringer Corp(owns the the area)said "the No trespassing signs were put up to stop dis-honest folk from vandalizing the area and that they have no problem with people visiting the area." Enjoy and Have Fun and use common sense
This Ruins used to be a gift shop back in the 1940's, & 50's along the original Rt.66, the owner of the gift shop D.M. Barringer charged tourists $0.25 cent to climb the tower to see Meteor Crater, after the visitors would arrive at the top of the tower the only thing they would see was the rim of Meteor Crater. The tourists then had to drive another 7 miles and pay another $0.25 cent to get a proper view of Meteor Crater, after a while the owner of the gift shop was called a rip-off by the local residents. The tower now is the home and nesting grounds for Ravens.
The Observatory was built by D.M. Barringer during the hey-day of Route 66. It has been said that the view from the observation tower was disappointing. I'm sure the Observatory was located this far from the impact crater because it was right on Route 66 and could lure travelers in. "Easy Off - Easy On" even back then. For 25 cents one could view the crater through a telescope. All that is left of the observatory today is stone ruins. Back in the 1940s this was the place to be. It must have been a pretty exciting place for travelers, if only those stone walls could talk ~
You can stop at the gas station to see a picture of the shop and tower when it was in its heyday.
Meteor Crater was formed about 20,000 years ago from a meteor impact. It is well worth the side trip to view this natural wonder. Route 66 travelers felt the same way as this site was listed in Jack Rittenhouse's Route 66 Guidebook published in 1946.