Astronomy in Arizona

Take a spectacular intergalactic journey as you view the ultra-clear Arizona sky with hands-on telescope viewing and take behind-the-scenes tours of world-renowned centers for astronomy research.

Starting at: $2,795 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 MMT Observatory, Mount Hopkins.   Credit: Howard Lester  The observatories of Arizona's Kitt Peak. Credit: Susan Degginger/Alamy  A gibbous moon overlooks one of Smithsonian's telescope domes, opening to prepare for night observation.  Credit: David Aguilar  Sky watching through one of many telescopes at Smithsonian's Whipple Observatory. Credit: David Aguilar  A 10-meter-diameter telescope, which searches for flashes of light created when gamma rays hit Earth's atmosphere. Credit: David Aguilar  The Observatory's giant gamma-ray telescope. Credit: David Aguilar  Kitt Peak Observatory  Viewing a lunar eclipse

Tour Details


The excitement of learning in-depth astronomy made me feel like a kid - I was not the only participant who made this exclamation. 

June V.

Been to China, Antarctica, Italy, Hawaii, Arizona - all with extremely competent, friendly, and helpful leaders - I'll be back! 

Doublas C.


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Touring observatories will require particpants to travel to mountain ridges. If you have any concerns about your health or traveling to higher altitude, please contact your physician prior to registering for this program.

Kitt Peak National Observatory: 6,875 ft. elevation

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory: 8,500 ft. elevation

San Pedro Valley Observatory: 3,586 ft. elevation

  • Kitt Peak National Observatory is located at approximately 6,800 feet above sea level. We will travel by private motor coach and the journey will be entirely on paved road.
  • Smithsonian’s Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory is located approximately 8,500 feet above sea level. There is a narrow roadway leading up the mountain from the Visitors Center, so it is necessary to leave our motor coach at the Visitors Center and ride in smaller vehicles to reach the summit. The ride from the Visitors Center to the ridge is about 30-40 minutes each way.
  • San Pedro Valley Observatory is located outside of Benson, Arizona and the altitude is minimal. You will be standing a great deal of time to look through a variety of telescopes. Keep in mind that for optimal viewing conditions, viewing areas will be kept as dark as possible. Even a small flashlight can affect the eyes and obstruct viewing. There will be plenty of areas outside the viewing “rooms” to rest and talk. The observatory is casual and an enjoyable environment for your sky-gazing experience.