Treat your family to an exploration of the Universe during your visit to Sedona, Arizona! Located only an hour away from the Sky Rock Sedona, the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ makes for an exciting day trip for your family. The Observatory was founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell and famous for the discovery of Pluto in 1930.
On your visit to the Lowell Observatory, you will be able to peer through the telescope that Percival Lowell used to sketch Mars or visit the telescope that helped Clyde Tombaugh discover Pluto! You will also want to check out the Giovale Open Deck Observatory.
Below you will find some of the tours and fun things to do at Lowell for a full list of events, tours, special programs and group visits please visit their website.
Daytime Tours at Lowell Observatory
- The Lowell Tour (11:00 am& 2:00 pm)
Explore Lowell Observatory’s past and present research efforts during this 45-minute guided walking tour of the historic campus. This tour includes a stop at the renowned 24” Clark Refracting Telescope, built in 1896 and still usable to this day.
- The Story of Pluto (12:00 pm& 3:00 pm)
Explore the discovery of Pluto in this 45-minute guided walking tour and learn about the Pluto Discovery Telescope.
- Lunar Legacy Tour (Monday-Saturday Only at 4:00 pm)
Hear the story behind the Moon mapping that occurred at Lowell in preparation for the first Apollo mission.
The Giovale Open Deck Observatory
The future of stargazing comes to Lowell Observatory with the Grand Opening of the Giovale Open Deck Observatory. This public observing plaza features six advanced telescopes! Enjoy a viewing experience that goes far beyond seeing faint smudges of light. From rich star fields and planets full of color, to nebulae and galaxies that reveal obvious structure. the famously dark skies of Flagstaff are abundant in celestial treasures for you to discover...read more
View the Sun or other stars through a specially equipped solar telescope. Objects vary seasonally. On cloudy days they can’t offer solar viewing. Instead attend an indoor program highlighting the features of the Sun, including ‘live’ images
Evening Outdoor Activities
Constellation Tour (9:00 pm & 9:30 pm)
Join the staff for an outdoor program outlining constellations with a special green laser! You will learn the mythology behind them, and how to navigate the night sky. Meet in front of the Rotunda Museum for a 30 minute guided program. On cloudy nights or during bright moon, join them inside the Visitor Center Lecture Hall for an indoor version of the night sky and constellations.
Viewing through their six new telescopes at the Giovale Open Deck Observatory, as well as at the historic Clark 24″ Refractor Telescope. View the planets, the moon, star clusters, and other deep space objects of the season, all with the assistance of our educators. Telescope viewing is offered Monday-Saturday, weather permitting.
So what are you waiting for, the Lowell Observatory is a great way to introduce yourself and your family to the universe!
General Admission – Adults: $22 Seniors, AAA, college students: $20, Ages 5–17: $14, Under 5: free.