Nightly Observing Program at Kitt Peak Visitor Center
The Kitt Peak Visitor Center and NOAO do not provide travel to Kitt Peak. There is a shuttle service available for a fee. Please call Adobe Transport at 520-609-0593. Directions to Kitt Peak.
- Adults: $49
- Seniors: $45 (age 62 and over)
- Students: $45 (elementary to college)
- Military: $45 (with current ID)
- Group rates
- Gift Certificates to the NOP or AOP programs are available. Call 520-318-8726
- Credit Cards: We require a credit or debit card to create and hold your reservation. During peak season over 1,000 people per day seek one of the 50 or fewer seats available for an evening program. Therefore we wish to schedule and hold seats for only those who are seriously interested in attending. We do not charge your card in advance of your arrival. When you arrive you may pay your program fee with this card, another card, US currency, or personal check. We only charge the card on file if you or some of your party fail to show for the program or if you do not provide us with the required 24 hours notice of cancellation or request to reschedule.
Due to NSF budget cuts the Kitt Peak Visitor Center no longer receives federal dollars for support. In order to remain open the visitor center had to increase prices for all of its programs. We hope that you will continue to support us and keep the visitor center open to the public.
There is no deposit charged if the program is cancelled by us for any reason. We will cancel a program due to unsafe conditions on the mountain. Please note the program often sells out.
We unfortunately cannot predict the weather. We offer NO refunds for programs affected by poor weather conditions.
Advance reservations are required and can be obtained DAILY in two ways:
- Call 520-318-8726 between the hours of 8:00am and 3:30pm or
- See the Visitor Center cashier between the hours of 9:00am and 3:45pm. Visitors without reservations must leave the mountain by 4:00pm.
- Due to the popularity of this program it is recommended that you make reservations 2 to 4 weeks prior to your visit.
- Reservations and date availability are determined by calling the Visitor Center directly at (520) 318-8726.
- Email your questions only to NOPRSVP@noao.edu.
- Once you have a reservation, you will be called on that day to confirm whether the program will be happening that night. It is imperative that we are able to reach you. Cell phone service is questionable on the drive to the mountain.
- Guests arrive before sunset. You will be given a specific arrival time when you make a reservation.
- Park at the Visitor Center (a map is here). The observatory grounds are closed after 4:00pm, so please stay near the Visitor Center!
- PLEASE DRESS WARMLY! Kitt Peak is at 7000 feet, and temperatures are 15-20 degrees cooler than in Tucson. Winter months bring freezing, windy conditions. Hats and gloves with heavy coats are highly recommended.
- Make sure your vehicle has enough fuel for the round trip up to Kitt Peak. The nearest 24-hour (credit card) gas station is approximately 30 miles from the Visitor Center.
- Summer brings monsoons, and the program is suspended from mid-July to the end of August. In addition, the mountain is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
- No alcohol is permitted on the mountain.
- For safety reasons, children MUST be age 8 or older to attend the Nightly Observing Program.
- Cell phone use is not allowed on the mountain.
- Due to extreme drought conditions, smoking is permitted only in your vehicle.
- We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
NON US CITIZENS
State route 86 has a Border Patrol checkpoint. If you are visiting from outside the US please bring your passports to expedite the process. The checkpoint is eastbound so you will need your papers when you head back.