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.

Night of the Marvelous Moon Program

Welcome to the reservation page for the Night of the Marvelous Moon.

The evening begins with a group orientation and light supper in the Visitor Center, followed by sunset viewing. Sunset is followed by an indoor presentation on basic lunar exploration history and geology. After you’ve learned about the different kinds of features we can see on the surface of the Moon, your program guide will take you up to the telescope to see those features in person. 

The program requires a minimum of 3 guests and concludes approximately 3 ½ hours after sunset.  The program is designed for adults and older children.  It is not recommended for children under 8 years of age.  Please read the information below before making your reservation.

Online Reservations

$80.00 per person.  Reservations may be made online up to the day before the desired program date. Please select your date carefully and enter your information accurately. Once your reservation is submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. 

Your reservation may then be changed only by calling the Visitor Center reservation desk at (520) 318-8720 or 8739.

Call in reservations

$85.00 per person if reservations are made by phone or in-person for any date. Reservations made on the day of the program must be made by phone or in-person. We will not be able to provide meals for guests making reservations after 1:30 P.M. on the day of the program.

To call in a reservation, call the visitor center reservation desk at (520) 318-8720 or 8739


Cancellations less than 24 hours prior to the program will incur a $40.00 per person late-cancellation fee. No-shows will be charged the full program fee. You may cancel your reservation without charge up to 24 hours prior to your program by calling (520) 318-8720 or 8739.

Credit Card

The card number you enter will hold your reservation but will not be charged without your permission.  Payment will otherwise be made in full upon your arrival at the visitor center on the night of your program.


Discounts are not available for the Night of the Marvelous Moon program.  Discounts are available in the Nightly Observing Program for seniors 62 and older, active duty military with ID, and students with ID.

How to Dress

Bring warm clothing. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. You will spend much of your time outside. Temperatures on Kitt Peak are often 15 to 20 degrees cooler than temperatures in Tucson.


The observatory used for the Night of the Marvelous Moon Program is not accessible to some mobility aids. Accessing the classroom requires a few stairs, or traversing gravel. Getting up to the telescope requires stairs. Working service animals are welcome.


The program includes a light meal. You may choose either a turkey (regular) or vegetarian sandwich. If you have dietary restrictions, you are welcome to bring your own meal. The kitchen cannot guarantee gluten free, allergen free, or otherwise specially prepared meals. The program fee is the same in either case.

Weather Call

Guests will receive a call at about noon on the day of the program to advise them of the weather forecasts and program status.  Please be available.  If weather might prevent observing, we will offer the Alternate Astronomy Program (AAP), which includes some of the activities of the NOP plus other engaging hands-on activities and possibly a tour of one of the research telescopes not typically open to the public.  In the event of unfavorable weather, guests will be given the option of attending the AAP or rescheduling for another date without charge.  The programs will be cancelled entirely only if conditions are deemed by the staff to be hazardous.  

We do not offer refunds or rainchecks for weather conditions other than expected or that change suddenly and limit our use of the telescope or otherwise interfere with any of our nighttime programs. The weather call is based on information available at the time of the call.

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