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Roden Crater facts for kids

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Roden Crater
An overhead view of Roden crater, photo taken from a satellite
Satellite view of Roden Crater, site of an earthwork in progress by James Turrell outside Flagstaff, Arizona.
Highest point
Elevation 5,443 ft (1,659 m) NAVD 88
Prominence 470 ft (143 m)
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Location Coconino County, Arizona, U.S.
Topo map USGS Roden Crater
Volcanic field San Francisco volcanic field

Roden Crater is a cinder cone type of volcanic cone from an extinct volcano, with a remaining interior volcanic crater. It is located approximately 50 miles northeast of the city of Flagstaff in northern Arizona, United States.

Art project

James Turrell - Rendering for Aten Reign - Photo 01
Roden Crater rendering

Artist James Turrell acquired the 400,000-year-old, 3-mile-wide (4.8 km) crater's land for a land art project. Turrell has since been transforming the inner cone of the crater into a massive naked-eye observatory, designed specifically for viewing and experiencing sky-light, solar, and celestial phenomena. The fleeting winter and summer solstice events will be highlighted. Kanye West filmed his 2019 movie Jesus Is King at Roden Crater and praised Turrell as one of the greatest living artists.


The Dia Art Foundation is continuing to advocate for the development of James Turrell's Roden Crater project in the Painted Desert in Arizona which was begun in the 1970s with Dia's support. James Turrell, who purchased the Roden Crater in 1979, had plans to open the crater for public viewing in 2011, but now has tentatively set the opening for 2024.

2015 fundraising tours

A fundraising event held daily from May 14 to 17, 2015, allowed visitors to tour Roden Crater for a cost of $6,500 to Turrell's nonprofit organization.

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