Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory

The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory is the largest field installation of the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory aside from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Located at the base of Mt. Hopkins 35 miles south of Tucson, the observatory educates its visitors with displays on astrophysics, astronomy, natural science and cultural history. Popular exhibits include the multiple mirror telescope, a three-dimensional model of galaxy distribution in the universe and a touchable topographical map of the Santa Rita Mountains. There are also exhibits on the patio that allow visitors to view the landscape and night sky with observatory telescopes and binoculars. Guided tours for the general public are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from mid-March through November. Tours originate at the Observatory's Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m., and include a bus trip to some of the mountain facilities, typically ending by 3 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made in advance by calling or writing to the Visitor Center. The cost is $10 for adults, and $5 for children ages 6-12.

Outdoor Adventures

Arizona’s Starry Nights

Arizona has long fought against "light pollution" - city glare that obscures the night sky. The Dark Skies Movement is headquartered in...

  • Location
  • 670 Mount Hopkins Road
  • Amado, Arizona 85645
  • HoursMonday, Wednesday and Friday (tours only): 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Reservations required.

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