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Kitt Peak National Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Highway 86 to 386 for 12 miles, Sells, AZ 85634
Phone Number:
+1 520-318-8726
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

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 317 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 211
  • 72
    Very good
  • 17
  • 7
  • 3
Beautiful views

I am not good with heights and the drive up made me feel extremely queasy, luckily it wasn't busy so there was no one to get angry with my very tentative driving! The kids are... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
United States
via mobile
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317 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 310: English reviews
United States
Level Contributor
44 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I am not good with heights and the drive up made me feel extremely queasy, luckily it wasn't busy so there was no one to get angry with my very tentative driving! The kids are 5th/ 6th grade and they enjoyed it though I think they got more enjoyment out of the main exhibit where there was more 'hands on'... More 

Thank Poirotgirl
Level Contributor
570 reviews
382 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Child soon will have telescopes in one spot but still Kitt Peak is a leader. There is about 26- telescopes at Kitt Peak. You can visit at least 3 of them. There are daily tours ( longer and shorter... check their website) as well as night star gazing tours. I highly recommend but please make sure you have warm close... More 

Thank Anna G
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We drove out from Tucson, about an hour, and it was well worth it. The drive up to the top is as outstanding as the observatory. While we were there they had two different telescopes showing sun spots, very interesting. We also had a great chat with one of the astronomers working that day, his insights really added to what... More 

Thank Scott W
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2017 via mobile

We booked this for my husband's 40th. He's an amateur astronomer, I am admittedly not. So this is a joint review. It was very heartening to be surrounded by a group of people who are also passionate about science. Please be mindful of their instructions regarding the temperature. Overall for me, it was a long evening and I'm not a... More 

Thank Elizabeth B
Level Contributor
67 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2017 via mobile

Our visit to Kitt Peak was a 9-hour venture, including driving time, and it was just too long a day for us. The video was lengthy, but I enjoyed it. Our friends wearied of it. The Night Program consisted of 3 segments and a light dinner (croissant sandwich, chips, cookie, granola bar and water). We learned things at all 3... More 

Thank Nickley
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile

Enjoy the beautiful 12 mile drive up to the 6800 ft peak to see astronomy at its finest. 24 telescopes each stationed with different purposes are scattered around with walking tours. Bring an extra jacket as the temperature drops 10 degrees. The visitor center has a gift shop with snacks and astronomy related projects.Take the night tour to really see... More 

Thank Connieleee
Gainesville, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2017

Reservations are a must for the nighttime observatory session. After a historical film, box supper, and instructions, we were ushered to the mountain edge for sunset photos. No photography after sundown nor light pollution. Headlights are coated with removable red covers for exit. 8 viewings of stars, galaxies, and planets (Jupiter and 4 moons) + our moon were extraordinary with... More 

1 Thank Doug_H4621
New Mexico
Level Contributor
573 reviews
307 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 229 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2017

This is one of those 'touristy' things locals usually do when they have houseguests. That was true for us, and I recommend it for all locals and tourists alike! This is a gem of a facility, a bit of a drive from Tucson but well worth it. We did the day tour and had an incredibly enthusiastic and well-informed docent... More 

Thank NewMexicoSilverqueen
Canby, Oregon
Level Contributor
364 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2017

The afternoon and evening at the Kitt Peak National Observatories was a highlight of our trip to Phoenix and Tucson. We've been to the mountain before and we'd taken the evening astronomy class once before, but this was the best evening class we'd taken. After some time viewing the domes, the 3.5 meter telescope (where we watched a worker calibrating... More 

Thank Bob J
Pahrump, Nevada, United States
Level Contributor
798 reviews
438 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 282 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2017

The trip begins when you turn off highway 86 and make the 12 mile trip up the mountain. The views are incredible.....it was interesting to see how quickly the road became steep..it is much cooler at the top so be prepared. We immediately paid to go on the guided tour. Was very educational. There are a possible three tours you... More 

Thank Cherie P

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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?