We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Highway 86 to 386 for 12 miles, Sells, AZ 85634
Phone Number: +1 520-318-8726

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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 289 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 192
  • 66
    Very good
  • 14
  • 7
  • 3
A surprisingly fun visit!

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... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Seattle, WA
Add Photo Write a Review

289 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 282: English reviews
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
141 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 

Thank LoveNewAdventures
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Well worth the $50.00 per person admission. Very informative, but I wouldn't bring kids younger than pre teens as there are some fairly steep hills you'll be walking up.

Thank Michael R
Oak Forest, Illinois
Level Contributor
103 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016

Where do I start! Truly one of the most remarkable experiences, for us, ever. With that said...we are city-folk so just seeing A Star is incredible, but seeing what we saw was just humbling to us. I think its safe to say that it was the first time that we thought "Wow, there is just so much more that we... More 

1 Thank Bordenbunch
Nolensville, TN
Level Contributor
103 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2016

Breathe taking experience - beautiful landscape, knowledgeable guides, lots of neat technology explained to you - the night tour was fabulous, could see so much in the sky.

Thank 2CanStan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2016 via mobile

Went out to the observatory for the first time. It was an eye opening experience. Guide was great. Definitely worth the trip.

Thank Joel C
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

OK, full disclosure; I'm a science geek. And my major geek-dom is astronomy. That said, I was disappointed with Kitt Peak National Observatory. A spectacular drive and a breath-taking view of the surrounding desert are unfortunately not enough to salvage this destination. Pet Peeve; the potential of wonderfully educational exhibits in the visitor center that aren't plugged in, broken or... More 

Thank Bruce A
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
356 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2016

Kudos to our guides Lucas and Carmen, who wowed and instructed us about the night sky. Bring some extra food if the sandwich, chips, granola bar, and cookies won't be enough. Definitely a must for experts and novices alike.

Thank JackandResh
Level Contributor
198 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2016

Brief conclusion: Do this! It was amazing! Longer analysis: We booked the Dark Sky Discovery back in June. I arrived a confirmation email that stated we would be contacted on the day of our tour to let us know if weather permitted it to go forward. It also told us our arrival time (4:56pm). We arrived to the turnoff for... More 

2 Thank TNsnowflake
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2016 via mobile

I went with my dad to see the nighttime program. Drive from Tucson was 1.5 hours depending on part of Tucson you are coming from. Drive up the mountain was breathtaking but harrowing. Steep drive ascends up to 6850 feet. We arrived about an hour before sunset. 4 hour program. $50 per person admission well worth it. They started with... More 

1 Thank Corinne T
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
148 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2016

My wife and I drove to the Kitt Peak National Observatory for an afternoon and barely made it to our destination as the road is promptly closed from 4:00PM to 9:00AM each day to reduce the amount of light coming from auto headlights near the World’s Largest Astronomy Observatory. There is a gate that is actually closed on highway 386... More 

2 Thank Swabado

Travellers who viewed Kitt Peak National Observatory also viewed


Been to Kitt Peak National Observatory? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Kitt Peak National Observatory and other visitors
13 questions
Ask a question
Richmond, Virginia
3 months ago
Sarasota, Florida
Green Valley, Arizona
5 months ago

See all questions (13)

Questions? Get answers from Kitt Peak National Observatory staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
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?