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“Great Observatory with Amazing Views!”

Kitt Peak National Observatory
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Sells
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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
Sachse, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
606 reviews
431 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
“Great Observatory with Amazing Views!”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

The Kitt Peak Observatory was great. Our family went there in December. The drive to the peak was simple and uphill. Make sure no snow on the road or it would be tough. The observatory was far from the city and we used Garmin GPS to help us. The views on the top were amazing. We spent 3 hours on the top and we didn't take tours. We walked with the map obtained from the visitor center. The officers were very helpful.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank BangkokSachse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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322 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Wiesbaden, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
206 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“An experience to be had”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I think everyone should do this at least once. It was pricey ($45/person with military discount), but we had a great evening. After doing this, I would recommend:

1. Wear pants, bring a jacket, and in the winter bring your warmest clothes! We went in May, and did fine with jeans and a fleece jacket. But I can see how it would get really cold at night.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. There is some walking, so just make sure you are comfortable, but it's not a super long distance.

3. If you can't eat sandwiches because of a food allergy, tell them so they remove the cost from your plan (I'm gluten free, and brought my own sandwich - which no one had an issue with).

We arrived early, and didn't leave until 10:30pm - so it is a late night. The whole experience is wheelchair accessible, but it may not be easy. There is big hill that I would hate to push a wheelchair up. The observatory that we were in even had a wheelchair lift.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank KaitlynMiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A unique opportunity”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Joining the Nightly Observer Program during April was a fun chance to have professional astronomers help show the interested folks assembled a little glimpse of their world. Sure, it would have been nice to have access to a larger telescope, but no one is easily going to have access to something larger, in such a fantastic viewing location. It would have been nice to have the group a little smaller, it did lead to a bit too much downtime. Nice gift shop, friendly staff, patient with novices, and a spectacular sunset. Glad we made the trip. Only real disappointment was some high clouds coming in and obscuring my chance to see Saturn and it's rings...but that's the luck of the draw.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank oilguy57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very special for the non-expert.”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

This was a great visit for someone who is not an amateur astronomer. It is very beautiful to be there as the day ended. We spent some time getting oriented and watching films while we had dinner (a pretty forgettable sandwich, but that's okay). We watched the sunset and spent time learning how to use a star chart and pick out well-known constellations. Then we split up into groups to see some spectacular sky objects, followed by a no-headlights caravan down. I loved it and really appreciated their commitment to general public outreach. If you are serious about astronomy, it will probably be too basic and less interesting.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank hap-camp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mahwah
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Daily Night Viewing”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Disappointing amateur presentations. Groups are large, so there is a lot of sitting around time in the cold till you see something. 16 inch telscopes is about what I would expect to use at my local community college. Not worth the 3 hour drive from Phoenix. The Titan missile site south of Tuscon is worth the drive.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank C P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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