Public Visits to Kitt Peak National Observatory

Public Visits to Kitt Peak National Observatory

The Kitt Peak Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm. No tickets are required to go the Visitor Center, but the observatory can currently only be visited as part of a tour. 

Guided Daytime Tours of Kitt Peak National Observatory are available all week. Spaces are limited to 24 guests per tour. Please make your reservation in advance to guarantee a spot.

Kitt Peak is very much alive during the daylight hours and offers a variety of activities to enjoy.

During the summer, the mountain is a great place to beat the desert heat.

Each tour, led by a docent, visits one of the large, historic telescopes of Kitt Peak. Telescopes are occasionally closed to the public for maintenance. The Visitor Center does its best to alert visitors of any changes to the regularly scheduled tours.

The program requires extensive walking. Most facilities visited are not wheelchair-accessible. Guests should wear comfortable walking shoes, and be able to walk the distances between the telescopes and climb stairs.

Duration: 1 hour

Strollers: Strollers or carry-on infants are not permitted.

Advance reservation: Advance reservation is strongly recommended


  • 1 Daytime tour (regular) $19.95
  • 1 Daytime tour (discounted) $15.95

Discounts: Discounts (20%) are available for seniors from age 62, groups of 8 persons or more, active duty military with ID, and students with ID. Tours are free for ASTC Members and immediate family members (ASTC Membership card will be checked upon arrival).

Tohono O’odham Nation: This program is free to members of the Tohono O’odham nation (TON Tribal IDs will be checked upon arrival).

KPNO 2.1-meter Telescope: 10:00 am

Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope: 12:00 pm

KPNO 2.1-meter Telescope: 2:15 pm

Check out our Facility's Virtual Tour to give you a glimpse of your future visit!


  1. Be cautious and respectful of wildlife; do not feed, pursue, or approach wildlife
  2. Stay with your guide and group
  3. No rock climbing or bouldering
  4. Stay out of recently burned areas
  5. If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness (dizziness, severe headache, etc) let your guide know immediately
  6. Be aware that high winds can make doors (on both cars and buildings) dangerous

Nighttime Programs

The Nightly Observing Program is our most popular nighttime program and runs nightly year around. It introduces guests to the night sky by means of various observing techniques.

The exclusive Overnight Telescope Observing Program gives you the full observatory experience and makes up to 4 guests visiting astronomers at Kitt Peak. Book your tickets on Eventbrite.

How to get to Kitt Peak National Observatory: Check here