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Kitt Peak National Observatory

Highway 86 to 386 for 12 miles, Sells, AZ 85634
520 318 8726
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Sells
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Reservations, National Parks, Landmarks
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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171 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Kingman, Arizona
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014 NEW

My family and I went to Kitts Peak for the "Advance Observing Program". We really enjoyed the whole experience, but have a couple of thoughts for those who are interested in doing this. #1-If you are able to do so, book the "advanced" observing program instead of their regular one (it's $10.00 more). The regular observing program spends a lot... More

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Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
304 reviews 304 reviews
75 attraction reviews
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

We were forced by time constraints to drive up in low cloud, so the views from the mountain top were poor, but on a clear day, they must be great. The various telescope domes are well labelled and described on signage. There are also a very large solar telescope (with 300ft shaft into the mountain, and a good-sized radiotelescope right... More

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Bodmin, United Kingdom
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

We have just arrived back in the UK after our holiday in USA. I ordered tickets for myself and husband to see the telescopes and view the galaxies on our lifetime trip to the Arizona desert all the way from our remote village in Cornwall, UK. I paid a deposit a month ago and on a clear, not a single... More

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Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
71 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

In a nut shell. A 12 mile drive up a 7000 foot mountain on a winding road with large drop offs but lanes are normal width. at the top you will find an accumulation of large telescopes of which three are open to the public. Do not expect to look through one or even see them closer than through a... More

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Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

This is a cool place. We paid for the guide (docent), but would not do it again. You can do a self-guided tour and save the money and it is all pretty well explained on all the signs and displays. You can see for miles and miles (even without the telescopes. The history and the various universities that are involved... More

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Belfast, Northern Ireland
Top Contributor
242 reviews 242 reviews
61 attraction reviews
210 helpful votes 210 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

We arrived just in time for the first tour of the day at 10am (it might only be 12 miles to the summit, but leave plenty of time as it's a slow drive). It quickly became apparent that we were the only two participants - so it was, essentially, a private tour. Our volunteer guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable and... More

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Homestead, Florida
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

We were fortunate to go when the solar eclipse and boy was that such a special treat. We got to Kitt Peak (which is a bit of a drive from Tucson) but got there just in time to see this phenomenon. They were selling the viewing glasses in the gift shop and also 2 huge telescopes to view. All I... More

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Magnolia, Texas
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
47 attraction reviews
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2014

Check out the Observatory's great website for all the information you'll need to plan your visit. We went during the day, but I wish we had had more time and better weather to appreciate it. We got a driving pass because some of us couldn't hike the distances around the summit. We had access to four telescopes, and just to... More

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Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2014

The nightly observation tour is worth the time, money, and white knuckle feeling driving up to the top of the hill. Learned how to use those constellation maps, how to (properly) use binoculars, what to look for in a sunset, and more. I only wish I had come at least an hour before the nightly observation program.

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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
27 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014

We drove 3.5 hrs from Phoenix one Saturday afternoon to Kitt Peak for the Nightly Observation program and was absolutely mesmerized by the visit. The observatory is open during the day as well; but the night observation program - which we booked for - is completely unique. You start off with a fantastic view of a glorious sunset, then get... More

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