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Kitt Peak National Observatory is closed to visitors

We’re aware that many people are eager to come visit Kitt Peak by car, bicycles or even on foot. The public Arizona State Route 386 up to Kitt Peak National Observatory is still closed by ADOT while it makes necessary repairs to the road and guard rails after damage from the Contreras Fire. For this reason, all public programs and tours, including online workshops, at KPNO are suspended due to the effects of the Contreras Fire on the site. 

Arizona State Route 386 up to KPNO remains closed to the public. Do not travel up this road for any reason or by any means. Access is limited only to staff and contractors due to safety concerns related to missing road guardrails, rapidly occurring rainfalls, and fire debris runoff during the monsoon season. 

Together with the Arizona Department of Transportation we continue to work to make the site safe so public visits can restart. We hope to have news about the reopening of the visits in December 2022. Please revisit this website periodically for updates.

Kitt Peak Visitor Center is your first stop on any visit.  It is your springboard to informative daytime tours, nighttime stargazing programs, fascinating exhibits, a terrific gift shop, and beautiful panoramic mountaintop views!

Established in 1964 and in its sixth decade of operations, the Kitt Peak Visitor Center has been enjoyed by more than two million people.  Our guests experience the largest and most diverse collection of research telescopes in any one place in the world. Three of the nearly two dozen active telescopes on Kitt Peak are dedicated solely to public viewing in our world-renowned nightly stargazing programs.

The mission of visitor center is to inspire a sense of wonder and awe about the Universe through exhibits, daytime tours, and nighttime public programs. Our goal is to inform and educate the public daily about basic astronomy, its current research themes, and the nature of the scientific process.

Read about an impressive new astronomy outreach facility being developed within the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It will enable the public to experience the cutting edge research being carried out at Kitt Peak and NSF’s other astronomy facilities around the globe.

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