Kitt Peak National Observatory is located in Schuk Toak district, 56 miles Southwest of Tucson, Arizona. It is a national astronomical observatory, founded in 1958, operating three major night time telescopes, 22 optical telescopes and 2 radio telescopes. The observatory and the visitor center are open daily for tours. The observatory is located on the Kitt Peak mountain, at an elevation of 6,875 feet, the place is quite windy and cold in the winter days. The observatory offers guided and self-guided tours.
Things to Do
- Three guided tours are offered each day, take a tour map from the visitor center for a self-guided tour. Families should take the daytime observations, but nightly observatory program is also recommended, the nightly observations are outdoors and the observatory is non-heated.
- The tour starts from the visitor center that offers a brief introduction, then a walking tour to the telescopes begins, it includes the Solar telescope and other telescopes.
- Kids would love seeing planets, stars, galaxies, clusters and so much more from the telescopes.
- The daytime VIP tour includes visiting the world's largest Solar telescope, and an in-depth knowledge of the Kitt Peak observatory, this tour requires reservation.
- Snacks and beverages are available in the visitor center.
- The picnic area is open daily and is located about 1 mile from the summit. Ramada, picnic tables, restrooms and water is available in the picnic area.
- The gift shop stocks astronomy books, baskets and crafts, telescope images and souvenirs.
Kitt Peak National Observatory Insider Tips
- Observatories are not handicap accessible.
- All need to dress up warmly when touring in the winters.