Special considerations

Hours. The mountain road up Kitt Peak is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. All visitors except those in scheduled observing programs must depart the mountain by 4:00 p.m. Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Health and high elevations. The elevation in southeastern Arizona increases steadily south toward Mexico, then rapidly in the 12-mile drive from the junction, SR 386, to Kitt Peak Visitor Center at 6800 feet. People with respiratory and/or cardiac difficulties or concerns should contact a physician before visiting mountaintop elevations.

Recognize and respond to symptoms of possible elevation-related health risks including shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, lack of appetite, fatigue, listlessness, confusion, or difficulty in decisionmaking: descend immediately to a lower elevation. Avoid heat-related illnesses by drinking plenty of water, staying cool, and not overexerting. Some paths to telescopes may include steep or uneven footing. Wheelchairs are available at the Visitor Center. For emergencies, dial 911.

Restrictions. Respect quiet zones around dormitories as most Kitt Peak astronomers work during the night and sleep during the day. Please respect restrictions on public access. No cellular phone or radio transmissions are permitted on Kitt Peak, because they interfere with the sensitive electronic equipment.

No services on Kitt Peak. No medical services, food, or gas are available on Kitt Peak, but small stores on SR 86 at Three Points and at the junction of the road north to San Pedro on the Tohono O'odham Reservation have both; business hours may vary, so plan well ahead. Many people bring

lunch to enjoy outdoors at the Visitor Center, or at the picnic grounds adjacent to the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) telescope. A group picnic area, restrooms, and potable water are located on the picnic grounds. No camping or campfires are allowed anywhere on the mountain at any time.

Driving the roads. Be a defensive driver, alert, focused, and aware of the additional hazards of mountain driving, as well as the usual highway hazards. Loose rocks often fall on the road. Turn on your headlights. Highway 86 has a speed limit of 65 mph, and runs through Pima County and onto the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Local law enforcement includes the Tohono O'odham Tribal Police, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Pima County Sheriff's Department. Watch for wild and domestic animals along roadways. "Open range" country means cattle may wander into your path. Slow down and be prepared to stop, but keep an eye on your rear-view mirror for drivers behind you who may not see the hazard. Coyotes, deer, javelina, and even an occasional bear or fox may dart across the road, especially during the early morning and dusk hours. Rains can trigger flash flooding. Snakes and other reptiles often warm themselves on still-warm highways as air temperatures drop during the night. The speed limit on Kitt Peak goes from 45 mph to 25 mph, but be prepared for vehicles who expect to pass. Accommodate them by using pullouts, but don't stop in undesignated areas or on "blind" curves. Trucks, vans, and other large vehicles use the single road to the top, so use caution and stay on your side of the road. Roadside memorials on Route 86 commemorate many people who have died on Arizona highways. Don't be part of this sad legacy.

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