Kitt Peak

Kitt Peak, a mountain high up in the Sonoran desert near Tucson, is home to an observatory that allows amateur astronomers access to amazing sights – both day and night.

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From Kitt Peak, you can gaze at a million glittering stars in one of the darkest night skies in the nation.

Drive just 45 minutes southwest of Tucson and, as you climb higher toward the heavens, you’re plunged deeper into darkness. At nearly 7,000 feet in elevation, Kitt Peak is the second-highest point on the Tohono O’odham Nation Tribal Lands and the highest point in the Quinlan Mountains. The sacred peak was named by Pima County surveyor George Roskruge in 1893.

Today, Kitt Peak is the location of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, one of largest and most important arrays of optical and radio telescopes in the world. Not only is Kitt Peak a groundbreaking astronomical research institute, it’s also one of the region’s top visitor attractions. During the summer, daytime programs let you safely peer into our nearest star, the sun, while enjoying a cooler climate.

The Kitt Peak Visitor Center Gift Shop stocks a variety of unique items, from Tohono O'odham baskets and handcrafts (which they are known for), to astronomy education items and a variety of souvenirs to help you remember your visit.

But the biggest draw is the nighttime discovery programs, which begin with a light supper, a breathtaking sunset, and unforgettable stargazing in the clear, dark skies far away from city lights. Really want to settle in? There are private, VIP overnight programs to extend your time on the peak. Reservations are a must and programs are suspended during the monsoon months of July and August.

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Just The Facts

For Visitor information

Kitt Peak | Arizona Highway 86 & Arizona Highway 386 | Tucson, AZ | (520) 318-8000 | www.noao.edu

County It all started How High? Head Count
Pima 1964 6,883ft Unknown

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