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Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff

4.4
#1 of 18 in Childrens Museums in Arizona
Observatory Museum
Some of the most important astronomical discoveries in history have been made at Lowell Observatory. Established in 1894, it is one the oldest observatories in the United States. Among other instruments, it is the home of the original, 19th-century Clark telescope and the famous astrograph used for discovering Pluto in 1930. During the day, the solar telescope allows you to take a close look at the sun, while at night you can view the stars, the moon, and the planets. Some programs might not be available at the time of your visit, due to weather conditions. The observatory is located at an altitude of 2,194 m (7,200 ft) and the sun can be very bright during the daytime while nights can be pretty cold, so don’t forget to bring sunscreen and dress in layered clothes. Arrange your visit to Lowell Observatory and discover more family-friendly attractions in Flagstaff using our Flagstaff trip itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,447 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Worth a visit. I went for the showing of the sun during the, and came back for a night viewing of constellations. Unfortunately, it was raining that night, but they gave a nice presenation about the u...  more »
  • Decided to take a detour while driving down Route 66. Be careful driving up to the observatory. Steep, curvy road. My friend took a walking tour and listened to a lecture. She learned a lot. She's a s...  more »
  • Interesting explanation about the discovery of Pluto but could not see the telescope used for this because it was on maintenance.
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  • I live Astronomy, and waited over a decade to finally visit here. This is the first big scope I've gotten to see. It was raining, but staff tried to have tours anyway, but no viewing. I would've liked to see more. Girls were all pretty and in need of many hours of additional education and training. The scenery stole the show, the trees and gardening were so awesome it could have been an arboretum. Spectacular setting. The Clark refractor is a well preserved iconic masterpiece, a true work of art. Amazing the truck tire bearings, awesome improvisation.
  • We got a tour of the observatory by an energetic young woman on staff. She did a wonderful job of representing the venue and it's place in the history of astronomy. The new museum is small but worth the time to see. It is conveniently across the parking lot from the visitor's center. The ten year old boy with us was engaged the entire time.
  • Had fun, but was very unprepared. It's more of a nature walk with the fun of seeing a few big telescopes along with a few portable ones. Be prepared with walking shoes and water. Also, the temperature is a little colder so bring a light jacket. The average says about an hour and a half time spent, but plan for a little more time so that you can navigate the paths and have enough time for the lines that develop at the bigger telescopes. We didn't get to see Pluto because that particular telescope was being restored so if you are going with a specific telescope in mind call ahead. Even without the telescopes the stars were simply amazing and had little to no light pollution so bring a mini flashlight just to navigate with your map if need.
  • Great night trip. The stars in the sky were brilliant the views up on the mountain were amazing. We got to see the double Gemini stars orbiting. Unfortunately the moon didn't rise until 10pm and It was windy so they didn't open the big telescope. It was chilly at night in april so dress appropriately. The property grounds were amazing. We loved the gift shop too. The overall price value a little high at 20 per person we were lucky to have a coupon which helped.
  • Love this place! Great learning experience for the whole family! Could be a little more hands on for kids, but I recommend if your interested in learning about the history of space travel

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Where to stay in Flagstaff

Flagstaff's diverse assortment of hotels and motels provides all the amenities you need to relax after a long day adventuring. The city is home to a number of luxury bed and breakfasts complete with jetted tubs and fireplaces. Budget-friendly bed and breakfasts have fewer facilities and are often farther out of town, but boast plenty of charm and character. If you like the outdoors, take advantage of the city's mountain surroundings and pitch a tent at a campground in nearby Kaibab National Forest.
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