Plan Your Visit
1400 West Mars Hill Rd
Flagstaff AZ, 86001
What to ExpectMore FAQs
It may surprise you to hear that Flagstaff receives an average of 100.6 inches of snow per year, making it the 8th snowiest city in the U.S.*! (*with an official weather station.) Despite Arizona’s reputation for being hot, sunny, and dry year-round, we experience all 4 seasons and the weather that comes along with them. That being said, snow, rain, and clouds can sometimes prevent us from opening the telescopes as usual. But never fear: in the event of inclement weather, we offer plenty of indoor talks, tours, and exhibits for you to enjoy during your visit!
The weather in Flagstaff can change on a dime, so be sure to dress in layers during the colder months. That way, you can add a layer if you get cold, or remove one if you start feeling too warm. Even during the summer, Flagstaff is usually at least 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix, and the temperature drops even lower at night. It also tends to get pretty windy up on Mars Hill, which can make the temperature feel even colder. Be sure to bring a light jacket, even if it’s warm during the day.
Our campus gets very dark at night—and we like it that way! To keep the telescopes’ view clear of light interference, we ask that you do not take flash photography while on campus, avoid using cell phones with bright screens* (*if you’d like to be able to use your cellphone during your visit, check out this handy guide on how to make the colors settings on your screen telescope-friendly!), and refrain from using flashlights that emit white light. Special red flashlights will be available to check out at the front desk. If you have your own red flashlight, feel free to bring it along!
As a scientific institution, we take the health of our guests very seriously and follow the CDC’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. Currently, we offer a number of COVID-conscious, on-campus guided stargazing experiences for limited groups.
Lowell Observatory is located at an elevation of 7200 feet, so you will want to pace yourself if you’re not accustomed to the high elevation. Most of our buildings are wheelchair accessible, with the exception of the Pluto Discovery Telescope.
Covid-19 Safety Precautions
Increased cleaning and sanitizing
Temperature and health screening
Social distancing of at least 6ft
Face masks are required
Wash or sanitize your hands often
Socially-distanced guided tours and family adventures, offered on a limited basis, with small groups.
Visit the World’s First International Dark Sky City
Situated in the high country mountains of northern Arizona at an elevation of 7,000 feet, Flagstaff enjoys all four seasons and a gorgeous night sky unhindered by the heavy light pollution present in other cities of its size.