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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 286 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 189
  • 66
    Very good
  • 14
  • 7
  • 3
Must experience, plan for a late visit

Breathe taking experience - beautiful landscape, knowledgeable guides, lots of neat technology explained to you - the night tour was fabulous, could see so much in the sky.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Nolensville, TN
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286 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 279: English reviews
Nolensville, TN
Level Contributor
75 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Breathe taking experience - beautiful landscape, knowledgeable guides, lots of neat technology explained to you - the night tour was fabulous, could see so much in the sky.

Thank 2CanStan
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Went out to the observatory for the first time. It was an eye opening experience. Guide was great. Definitely worth the trip.

Thank Joel C
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

OK, full disclosure; I'm a science geek. And my major geek-dom is astronomy. That said, I was disappointed with Kitt Peak National Observatory. A spectacular drive and a breath-taking view of the surrounding desert are unfortunately not enough to salvage this destination. Pet Peeve; the potential of wonderfully educational exhibits in the visitor center that aren't plugged in, broken or... More 

Thank Bruce A
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
356 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Kudos to our guides Lucas and Carmen, who wowed and instructed us about the night sky. Bring some extra food if the sandwich, chips, granola bar, and cookies won't be enough. Definitely a must for experts and novices alike.

Thank JackandResh
Level Contributor
181 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Brief conclusion: Do this! It was amazing! Longer analysis: We booked the Dark Sky Discovery back in June. I arrived a confirmation email that stated we would be contacted on the day of our tour to let us know if weather permitted it to go forward. It also told us our arrival time (4:56pm). We arrived to the turnoff for... More 

1 Thank TNsnowflake
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I went with my dad to see the nighttime program. Drive from Tucson was 1.5 hours depending on part of Tucson you are coming from. Drive up the mountain was breathtaking but harrowing. Steep drive ascends up to 6850 feet. We arrived about an hour before sunset. 4 hour program. $50 per person admission well worth it. They started with... More 

1 Thank Corinne T
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
144 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 

2 Thank Swabado
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 

1 Thank kavason
Newton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
84 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
48 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

2 Thank Lisa N

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Questions & Answers

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Sierra Vista, Arizona

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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?