Clear Lake, Iowa: Buddy Holly Crash SiteIt's the spot where the beloved rocker with the geek glasses and hiccup-y voice met an early end. The site is often marked with items added by visitors.
Visitor Tips and News About Buddy Holly Crash Site
Just look for the huge glasses that mark the trail head![Matthew, 07/11/2009]
We went to the 61st anniversary gala ball at the Surf Ballroom. It was a lot of fun listening to the Grass Roots perform.
The next day we went to visit the crash site. A new steel artwork sculpture (of a pair of black sunglasses) set onto a concrete pier base marks the entrance to the path to the sight. There are orange landscape flags marking the path. You cannot miss it. I was happy to see that so much was still present at the memorial. We took some pictures, paused for a few minutes and as we were leaving we left our own card.[Eric Trippe, 07/06/2009]
Fans of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper gathered around a bonfire in a corn field near the crash site at 1 am February 3rd, timed to coincide with the tragedy's 50th anniversary. A "50 Winters Later" concert was held at the nearby Surf Ballroom, location of the rock legends' last performance.
A day earlier, a steel monument had been added to the crash site, remembering the forgotten pilot of the plane, Roger Peterson. The memorial was created by Ken Paquette, who also made the metal guitar and record monument (that have been stolen and replaced at least once).[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 02/04/2009]
Directions were perfect, but little guitar on the post is gone. I tuned our XM radio to the fifties on the way in. As we made the turn under what would have been the final flight path, the radio played, "That'll Be the Day (When I Die). My wife and I just looked at each other.
Be sure you are wearing good walking shoes (not sandals).[Dave, 11/16/2008]
The photo of the guitar is from June 2008. The crash site memorial is a fragile thing, not designed to withstand even casual souvenir scavengers. Except for The Curse, of course. Hope they're not flying anywhere with that stolen guitar....
Visited crash site on 5/24/2008. Excellent directions, however, the wood guitar sign with "crash site" and an arrow pointing to the direction of the memorial has been removed. It was a rough walk negotiating the newly planted corn rows immediately adjacent the hill topped by the barbed wire fence line. No pathway at all to speak of. Walking back to my car I counted about 1,000 paces, so just under 1/2 mile back to the road at 315th St and Gull Ave sounds about right.
It was a emotional experience for me at the memorial and well-worth the trek on foot.[Jerry L. Kellogg, Sr, 06/15/2008]
Buddy Holly Crash Site
- Buddy Holly Place, Clear Lake, IA
- US Hwy 18 to N. 8th St. Drive north of town for around 4.5 miles. When the paved road (which has become Grouse Ave.) turns left (west), go right (east) on gravel road (310th St.), then immediately left (north) on Gull Ave. Follow for one-half mile, just past the grain bins, to a T-intersection of a gravel road from the right and first fence row on left (west). The fence begins at the street sign for "Gull Ave." and "315th St." Walk along the fence row west for just under a half-mile.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour