Kitt Peak National Observatory: Things to do Near Tucson

Real Estate Agent with Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ SA564219000

Kitt Peak National Observatory:  Things to do Near Tucson

Kitt Peak Sign

Entrance to Kitt Peak National Observatory

This weekend we took a little trip SW of Tucson to escape the heat and enjoy the views at Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center and Museum.  It's located west on Highway 86, about 75 minutes from downtown Tucson.

Road to Kitt Peak National Observatory

It took us the same time to come down Sandario Road from NW Marana.  We also border Saguaro National Park West for a few miles so the scenery is fine!

Road to Kitt Peak National Observatory

The world's largest collection of telescopes are located at the Kitt Peak National Observatory; 24 of them!

Telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory

The public is welcome most every day except Christmas, New Year's, and Thanksgiving with guided tours three times a day, lasting about an hour.  For the enthusiast, there are also VIP programs and night observations available. Or, there's even a map in the gift shop and you can take a relaxed, self-guided tour and spend the day!

Telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory

For us, we enjoy the drive up the mountainside, and thought it was a good opportunity for our French Foreign Exchange student to see this "world collection".  

Telescope tour at Kitt Peak National Observatory

Funny thing was, during the docent-led tour we discovered that it was a French countryman that invented the 4 Meter Telescope that we toured!

Sacred Baboquivari Peak Tohono O'odham people

It was a balmy 84 degrees during our visit and we enjoyed a mountain-top picnic to round out our day.

Roadway to Kitt Peak National Observatory

Thank you to the Tohono O'Odham Nation for allowing this sacred area to be leased as home to the largest collection in the world of optical telescopes.

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Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Long Realty,


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Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

I really enjoy your Things to do Near Tucson posts, Cara. Make me want to come visit!

Sep 06, 2011 11:54 AM #1
Mark Welsh
Kirkland, WA

Wow -  amazing pics.  I went there a long time ago, and i had forgotten how fantastic it really is.  thanks

Sep 06, 2011 12:33 PM #2
Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Cara - This was a place that I missed on my last trip to Tucson. Sure wish I could have gone up to see this. Your pictures are making me feel like I got to go. Thanks for sharing this amazing place with us.

Sep 06, 2011 12:52 PM #3
Bruce McCallum
DFH Real Estate, Victoria, BC 800-668-2272 - Victoria, BC
Homes In Victoria BC

Thanks for aunt live in Tucson...too ba I missed it when I was there...

Sep 06, 2011 03:43 PM #4

Beautiful photos!

Sep 06, 2011 07:02 PM #5
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Lottie - I have been an official tourist of Arizona ever since I moved here in 2000.  I love exploring!  This is my fourth trip to Kitt Peak and I still love it.  :)

Hi Mark - I think it's amazing that we were allowed to lease sacred Indian Land.  The top 200 acres of the mountain!

Hi Robert - Glad to meet you and thank you so much for stopping by!

Hi Bruce - Lots of things to see in Tucson and vicinity.  Let me know next time you come by and I'll send you some of my favs!

Sep 06, 2011 08:06 PM #6
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Beautiful pictures, it looks like an amazing area. What views too... Thank you for sharing as it definately wants me to go see it the next time i am in the area.

Sep 07, 2011 09:29 AM #7
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Hi Scott - I think it's amazing how many treasures are just an hour or so away from where we all live.  It's fun to read about Active Rain Localism and the places we all hold dear!

Sep 07, 2011 10:42 AM #8
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411


Thank you for the introduction to Kitt Peak National Observatory.  I've heard of "restaurant row" but never observatory lane with 24 telescopes.  Astronomers just discovered an exploding super-nova which has them all abuzz.  They discovered it moments after the initial explosion which was eons ago but the light is just now reaching earth.  Perhaps you need to go back up to have a look. A foreign exchange student?  I've thought about that.  Are you learning French?

Sep 07, 2011 10:11 PM #9
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Hi Lloyd - Observatory it.  I like the point you brought up - the docent was telling us about the fact that occurances in some areas, for example, can take 10,000 years to reach us, so we're actually looking at history...but THEN, they can look at "newer" formations, compare them, and determine how history evolved!  Talk about amazing!  

Regarding our student - my daughter was in French 3,4 last year and they came around with these papers and here we are...  It is fun to see things new again through her eyes!

Sep 08, 2011 12:34 AM #10
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Cara Marcelle Mancuso

Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

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