Kitt Peak National Observatory: Things to do Near Tucson
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.
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!
The world's largest collection of telescopes are located at the Kitt Peak National Observatory; 24 of them!
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!
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".
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!
It was a balmy 84 degrees during our visit and we enjoyed a mountain-top picnic to round out our day.
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.