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Kitt Peak National Observatory

Highway 86 to 386 for 12 miles, Sells, AZ 85634
520 318 8726
Website
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Ranked #1 of 1 attractions in Sells
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, National Parks, Reservations
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Owner description: Located 56 miles southwest of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, the observatory is a working research station situated high above on... more » Owner description: Located 56 miles southwest of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, the observatory is a working research station situated high above on Kitt Peak. « less
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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153 reviews from our community

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English first
Peterborough, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014 NEW

Had the great pleasure of visiting the Kitt Peak National Observatory in late March. If you are interested in astronomy or just curious about the subject you will find this a fascinating place to visit. Plan on getting there early so you can take in all three guided tours as they are excellent and full of interesting information. The main... More

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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
49 attraction reviews
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

We stopped at the observatory on our way from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to Saguaro National Park. The observatory has three guided tours. Each tour features a different telescope. Tours begin at 10:00, 11:30 and 1:30 in the visitor center. We arrived too late for the first tour so we took the opportunity to tour of the McMath-Pierce Solar... More

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Astro85719, Manager at Kitt Peak National Observatory, responded to this review

Clarification, the Kitt Peak Visitor Center is not run by the Tohono O'odham Tribe. It is run by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and the National Science Foundation. The Observatory however is on Tohono O'odham lands. More

Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
6 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

We visited Kitt peak's 4 meter telescope onservatory after the last tour had been completed. The remoteness of the site makes it important to plan to either bring food or eat prior to going. Be prepared for cold temperatures, though it was 82 when we were there. There were also impressive wind gusts. I loved the tremendous views from the... More

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Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

I "discovered" Kitt Peak National Observatory & National Solar Observatory while reading a AAA Highroads magazine. My thought was, even though I'm not knowledgeable on astronomy, who wouldn't want to see the heavens through different eyes. Wow, what an experience. My husband and I along with a friend, made a special trip to Tucson to be able to visit Kitt... More

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Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Visited there with a group for the night program recently. We all enjoyed it, but as they warn - dress warmly. We were all bundled with coats, hats and gloves and got very cold at the end of the outdoor viewing. Thought it was very good overall and certainly an unusual experience.

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Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
63 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

I had booked a star-gazing tour on Mt. Lemmon (north of Tucson), which got canceled due to cloudy conditions. I went up Kitt Peak the next day, and most of the time we were in patchy fog. Yes, you can get tours to the telescopes, but the docent I had was not very good....not much science background, and I'm sure... More

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Moreno Valley, California
Top Contributor
344 reviews 344 reviews
68 attraction reviews
482 helpful votes 482 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

If you are keen to experience some cutting-edge astronomical research sites, make a point to detour out to Kitt Peak while you are in Tucson. Go prepared though, as gasoline, food, water and refreshments are normally not available beyond Three Points (on Route 86) nor on Kitt Peak mountain. At any time weather can be a challenge due to winter... More

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

I went up for New Years Eve and while we didn't ring in the actual New Year there it was a fantastic close to 2013. It was for a night program. Read the website and the information they send you because it will tell you exactly how to be prepared. It seemed pretty clear cut to me and should give... More

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Albany, New York
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
69 attraction reviews
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

It is worth driving to Kitt Peak for a day trip if visiting the Tucson area. The drive through the desert is beautiful. The scenery as you ascend the peak is spectacular, just take your time on the windy roads. The day we decided to go in December unfortunately was bad snowy weather, but luckily the road was clear, just... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Rocky Mountains
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
21 attraction reviews
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

We attended a night session which included a sack lunch. They phoned us ahead of time to tell us to dress "warmly" but didn't mention that we'd be spending a lot of time outdoors, where the temperature hovered around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I had on long johns, hat, gloves and a down jacket and sweater but I was still shivering.... More

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Astro85719, Manager at Kitt Peak National Observatory, responded to this review

Please keep in mind that were on a 6,875 foot mountain. It is often windy and temps are 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the valley floor. Also when planning your visit please read our website which has all of the precautions and tells you how to dress for the programs. None of the dome are heated. If its 40... More

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