Greeting travelers on their way to see a giant meteor crater in the Arizona desert since 1938, this Route 66 roadside attraction now sits abandoned after shutting its doors in 2012.
In Route 66’s heyday, there were six trading posts in the 43 miles between Winona and Winslow, AZ. They were Twin Arrows, Toonerville, Two Guns, Rimmy Jim’s, Meteor City, and Hopi House. As the venerable old road faded they all closed.
A metal Indian window sculpture watches over the abandoned property.
Trading posts were once as common as payphones and mom-and-pop motor courts along this northern Arizona stretch of the Mother Road. Tourists flocked to them to buy feathers, faux tomahawks, tumbled stones and samples of petrified rocks.
Once billed as “The World’s Largest Dreamcatcher”, this Route 66 treasure can still be seen while driving by on I-40.
Meteor City Trading Post was definitely one of my favorite roadside attractions as a kid…
…so it was a little depressing to see it in the state it’s currently in.
I was excited to drive by it after leaving Two Guns on my way to Winona. Thinking it was still open, I decided to stop by and check it. It wasn’t until I actually pulled up and parked next to it that I noticed it was abandoned.
Known for its geodesic dome, giant roadside dreamcatcher and the “World’s Longest Map of Route 66,” Meteor City sold its last batch of rattlesnake eggs in December 2012 after unsuccessful attempts to sell it for $150,000.
The Indian murals that line the wall facing the interstate still look good after all these years.
A red ‘Stop Work’ notice was posted on 2/5/15, a week before my arrival. I’m glad I was able to see it because it looks like the county is either going to board it up or tear it all down.
The original 1938 trading post had a conventional rectangular building. In 1979 that building was replaced with an eye-catching geodesic dome. As utilitarian as the design may be, it affords no particular fire protection when wood is the principal construction material. In 1990 the Meteor City dome burned down and was replaced with the structure that still stands today.
The dome structure itself remains in fairly good condition.
Stairway to second floor balcony that was used as an office.
‘Authentic’ Indian Decor
A photo of the dreamcatcher makers.
Out back behind the dome sits three abandoned mobile homes.
Nobody’s home behind the geodesic dome.
The geodesic dome was not the only feature designed to attract tourists. On the east side of the dome famed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire painted a 100-foot long map of the old road. Unfortunately, sometime after 2000 that map was painted over. In October 2003, volunteers from the Hampton Inn Hotels recreated the map of Route 66 and repainted six teepees surrounding the dome. Meteor City was the 13th landmark and the 4th along Route 66 which the hotel chain restored in its Save-A-Landmark program.
It’s always sad to see these places go but I’m happy I got to spend a little time here before it’s gone forever.