Planning Your Visit With Us

Take a few moments to learn how to find us, how to prepare for a safe and comfortable visit, and understand our environment.


Current Weather Links

Kitt Peak Rules

We operate in a unique, sometimes rugged environment of southern Arizona. Here is important information to plan your visit with us.

Tohono O'odham Nation

Kitt Peak National Observatory is privileged to be permitted to occupy the top 300 feet of one of the most important mountains in the cultural heritage of the Tohono O'odham Nation. It is extremely important that all NOAO employees, visiting observers and dignitaries, tenants, and visitors respect this cultural heritage at all times.

All day, evening, and special programs are free to members of the Tohono O'odham Nation except the Overnight Telescope Program (OTOP).

Directions, Coordinates, Maps

The Google Map display above shows how to get to Kitt Peak Visitor Center. This is a dynamic map display adjustable through the standard Google Map controls. As you can see, the observatory is located 56 miles west-southwest of Tucson.

Access, Elevation & Health

Kitt Peak is just shy of 7,000 feet (2,133 meters) above sea level at the summit. When coming to Kitt Peak you should be aware of any potential health issues that could arise from the altitude or walking at this elevation. Helpful information for those with special challenges can be found here.

Weather & Temps

Weather varies with the seasons and is typically cooler at elevation. Dress appropriately and bring layers of clothing.


Although the Visitor Center is open to all, the US Government requires passports for visitors from other countries when driving through the Border Control check point on Arizona State Route 86. Please be sure you bring your passport with you.

Parking (Overnight, etc.)

Parking area is in front of the Visitor Center for both day and evening programs.

Photography (Tourist & Professional)

Photography is welcome on Kitt Peak. Note restrictions stated within.

Services (Gas, Lodging, Food, Camping)

Services up on Kitt Peak are minimal. You should plan ahead before traveling to this location.

Pets & Service Animals

Pets and service animals are permitted with certain restrictions.

Smoking and Fire Hazards

Fire is an enormous danger to life and property. Proper precautions must be taken by all persons working or visiting on the mountain.


Weapons are expressly forbidden on Kitt Peak at all times.

Cell Phones

Cell phone use is prohibited for calls and data transfers. Place cell phones in airplane mode or turn them off.

Wildlife & Livestock

Please be on the alert for roaming wildlife and livestock on the mountain or while driving up and down. Mountain lions and bears have been recently sighted here.

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