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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
See all hours
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 298 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 199
  • 67
    Very good
  • 15
  • 7
  • 3
Great drive in the desert.

We went there to see the observatory but it closes at 4pm so we just drove up there. During the day you can see a long way and there are great views. Go at night to get an extra... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
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298 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 291: English reviews
Level Contributor
91 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went there to see the observatory but it closes at 4pm so we just drove up there. During the day you can see a long way and there are great views. Go at night to get an extra tour but take warm clothes. Snow on the top in January.

Thank mseeliger
Milford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

To get to Kitt Peak you have to travel approximately 90 minutes out of downtown Tucson. Once you turn on Route 386 that leads to the Observatory you're in for a treat! The landscape is spectacular! Had to stop several times to admire the view and take pictures - breathtaking! Once at the top we went into the Visitor's Center... More 

2 Thank lswight
Sandston, Virginia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

What a great date! My husband and I did the Nightly Observing Program. We knew little beforehand, so enjoyed the intro thoroughly. The views on the drive up and at the top are spectacular, the staff enthusiastic, the sandwich dinner all we needed. We were glad to have brought extra blankets because it IS cold up there this time of... More 

1 Thank Swampgal123
bay area, ca
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017

My husband is a huge astronomy buff and I went along not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. What a wonderful surprise. The staff running the nighttime programs is first rate. It really does get super cold in the evening hours. Even though part of the program is inside the dome with the telescope, it will still... More 

Thank chipnchair
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017 via mobile

The drive away from Tucson and up the mountain is worth the opportunity to learn about astronomy and the ongoing effort to better understand our universe. We signed up for the Night Observatory Program, and while waiting for sunset and the program's start wandered around the individual observatories strung along the spine of the mountain. It is clear you are... More 

3 Thank beaner1138
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2017

It was really cold the night of 1/7/17 and visitors are well advised to prepare for being at about 6750 ft.

1 Thank Mrrbug
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
77 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2016

Went to Kitt Peak reluctantly...my sister decided it would be interesting, so we trudged along with her. Although we wanted to see the night program, that was too expensive for a group of five, so we chose one of the docent-guided tours at 10am instead. It was fascinating! The introduction by our docent was eye-opening: we learned about the Dark... More 

4 Thank rhonda60103
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2016

Last year when i visited friends in Tucson we tried to visit KP but it was fully booked. So first piece of advise is to BOOK way in advance and DEFINITELY go. Worth every penny and shiver (it does get cold and very dark). Second suggestion is to BRING WARM CLOTHES--the altitude makes for very chilly and windy conditions. A... More 

4 Thank stephenmurphy4
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2016

I am going to try and provide a very detailed review here, but overall I felt the Kitt Peak Nighttime program was not what I had expected upon scheduling for the event, with an overall average feel at the end of the night. There were some great things about the event, and some things that were pretty disappointing. The PROS... More 

3 Thank kp1851
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
162 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2016

The Observatory is about 55 miles SW from Tucson which includes a drive up Kitt Peak Mountain. We made an impromptu visit during the day and I wasn't expecting much. However I was pleasantly surprised. The Mt drive was lovely with lots of scenic stops and photo ops. The Observatory at the top, actually consists of many Observatories. The staff... More 

6 Thank LoveNewAdventures

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Kitt Peak National Observatory and other visitors
13 questions
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Richmond, Virginia
5 months ago
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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?