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Kitt Peak National Observatory

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Address: Highway 86 to 386 for 12 miles, Sells, AZ 85634
Phone Number: 520 318 8726

Located 56 miles southwest of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham Indian...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 280 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 185
  • 65
    Very good
  • 13
  • 7
  • 3
Road Closed from 4:00PM to 9:00AM Daily to Reduce Light Pollution near the World’s Largest Observatory

My wife and I drove to the Kitt Peak National Observatory for an afternoon and barely made it to our destination as the road is promptly closed from 4:00PM to 9:00AM each day to... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 17, 2016
Hillsboro, Oregon
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280 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 273: English reviews
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
138 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2016

My wife and I drove to the Kitt Peak National Observatory for an afternoon and barely made it to our destination as the road is promptly closed from 4:00PM to 9:00AM each day to reduce the amount of light coming from auto headlights near the World’s Largest Astronomy Observatory. There is a gate that is actually closed on highway 386... More 

1 Thank Swabado
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2016

We chose to enjoy the observatory at a self-guided pace rather than a guided tour, and it was definitely the right decision. We walked to the 4-meter and solar telescopes and had completely private access to the viewing areas because everyone else was on guided tours. If you are looking to receive more in-depth information about the telescopes, you may... More 

Thank kavason
Newton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
84 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2016

This was a highlight of our trip. The night tour offers dinner (or you can bring your own - theirs is a choice of a turkey or vegetarian sandwich plus chips, cookie, water...). Initially they orient you to the Observatory and their focus on public education, then you watch the sunset, then they give you a star chart and you... More 

1 Thank Claire W
Arlington, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2016 via mobile

We took our two teenagers to the Nightly Observing Program & it was awesome! A must for anyone who is interested in space, stars, & planets! Even if it's 100°+ in Tucson, it will be chilly on Kitt Peak so dress in layers. Go see all the wonders the true night sky has to offer!

Thank Lisa N
Acton, MA
Level Contributor
170 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2016

We visited during the day hoping to see something from the solar observatory, but although it was sunny in Tucson, it was snowing on Kitt Peak., We did the walking tour of the telescopes open to the public which was interesting, but I suspect the night time tours are really interesting. The views of the desert from up here are... More 

Thank D_PN
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
82 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2016

Although we had to deal with the smoke from nearby forest fire which blotted out half of the sky, there was still more than enough for us to see and enjoy. A very nice informative program. Our guides (Alex and Ali) were both knowlegeable AND excellent presenters. Very good value.

Thank jcnagle850
Barrington, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2016

Our family signed up to do the Dark Sky observation program and thoroughly enjoyed our 5 hours on Kitt Peak. We arrived pretty early and wandered around the visitor center though you could have gotten there 15 min before the start and been fine. This mountain has 27 working telescopes and quite a few researchers on site so we were... More 

2 Thank WendeD
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2016

We arrived around noon and wanted a tour of Kitt Peak. There are only three walking tours per day and only one telescope per tour. The next tour wasn't until 1:30 to the 4 meter telescope. We did the self guided tour to the solar telescope and the 2 meter telescope. All we could do was look at the telescopes... More 

Thank Sr F
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2016

We are newbies to stargazing and invested in an overnight program. The dorms are basic - think Motel 6, but clean. And, really, after a long night of stargazing any bed will do. Our docent, Casey, was phenomenal. Very knowledgeable and also knew how to engage the teen members of our party. As part of our private viewing, we got... More 

Thank rebecca d
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2016

My dad worked here in the early '70's. I was here as a child. It was important for me, while on vacation in the area, to see Kitt Peak again. The views are amazing! It was great being able to go see it all again with my husband & son.

Thank Judym1984

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Kitt Peak National Observatory and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?