Kitt Peak National Observatory
Located in: Westside District
EXPLORE YOUR UNIVERSE! The world’s largest collection of optical telescopes is located high above the Sonoran Desert. Kitt Peak, on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, is home to 24 optical and two radio telescopes representing dozens of astronomical research institutions. The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), funded by the National Science Foundation, oversees site operations on Kitt Peak. Explore the Visitor Center exhibits and gift shop to learn about astronomy. Take a tour and discover how astronomers use telescopes to unlock the mysteries of the Universe. Visit the National Solar Observatory exhibit gallery and watch scientists operate the world’s largest solar telescope. The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM for daytime visitors and tours. The Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. Sometimes we are closed due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. Please check before ascending the mountain. Admission is free to the Visitor Center, but we do charge fees for daily guided tours and programs.
NIGHTLY STARGAZING: Join us for a special experience and use the Visitor Center Public Telescopes telescope to observe spectacular objects in the night sky. This program is limited to 46 participants and requires reservations made well in advance. Group numbers can go to 100. This unique program runs nightly. Ck our website for current and unique star gazing programs. The Kitt Peak Experience ..Like no other!
DIRECTIONS: Kitt Peak is 56 miles southwest of Tucson via State Route 86 on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Allow 90 minutes of drive time from Tucson. Take I-10 to I-19 South. Less than 1 mile is Ajo Way/Hwy 86 (Exit 99). Take this exit West (right). Proceed past Ryan Airfield and Three Points. Continue until Junction 386 (Kitt Peak turnoff). Turn left onto 386. The Kitt Peak Visitor Center is located at the summit (12 miles). Paved and maintained road.
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Children Welcomed