Things to do on Kitt Peak

The Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit. Inside are exhibits on astronomy and telescopes, regular showings of astronomy videos, and a gift shop that features Tohono O'odham native crafts including basketry and jewelry, astronomy items, books, posters; and Kitt Peak souvenirs.

Docent guided tours are offered at the Kitt Peak Visitor Center three times daily, at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Tours last about an hour, beginning with a brief introductory discussion in the Visitor Center, a half-mile walk on moderate-to-steep paths to one of three telescopes (McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, 2.1-meter Telescope, and Mayall 4-meter Telescope). Group tours are available through advance reservation by calling (520) 318-8732. Donations of $2 per person are recommended, and well worth it. The Kitt Peak docent tours provide up-close views of telescopes; interesting information about the purpose of telescopes, their construction, capabilities, and achievements; and insight into the challenges of managing a "city of telescopes" on a dry mountaintop.

Self-guided tours are a fun way to see the mountain at your own pace. There is specific information about telescopes and vistas in the Telescopes and vista/interest points section of this book. The Visitor Center also has walking tour maps.

School programs (both day and night-time) are available. Call the Program Coordinator at 520 318 8440 for more information.

Private tours are available with advance notice for groups of 15 or more. Call the Visitor Center at 520 318 8732 to arrange them.

Night-time public observing programs feature two "state of the art" telescopes, available for public viewing every evening. Visitors can view planets, nebulae, and galaxies. Warm clothing is a must, even in the summer. Public observing program hours vary through the year based on sunset and weather. Fees for adults are $36, students and senior citizens (over 55 years) are $31. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 318-8732 to schedule.

"Watch outs" for motorists •Pedestrians and bicyclists

• Distracted, impaired, or speeding drivers •Livestock, pets, and wildlife

• Fallen rock, especially on mountain roads

• Lightning, flash floods, "micro bursts" with high winds and rain, hail, dust storms; and winter snow and ice

•Wildfire hazard year-round

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Telescopes Mastery

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