Plan Your Visit
to Lowell Observatory
1400 West Mars Hill Rd
Flagstaff AZ, 86001
What to ExpectVisit 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 United States!* Despite Arizona’s reputation for being hot, sunny, and dry year-round, in Flagstaff we experience all four 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!
Be sure to read the next section on this page under “What to Wear & Bring” to be prepared.
*with an official weather station.
Dress for Success!
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.
These Shoes Are Made for Walkin’
While all main pathways on our campus are paved and wheelchair accessible, our guided tours and Premium Access stargazing experiences require a moderate amount of standing and walking, sometimes on slight inclines. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes during your tour, and take a moment to rest on the benches placed throughout campus. If special accommodations are needed for members of your group, please contact our visitor center at (928) 774-3358 to notify a staff member.
Hey! Who Turned Out the Lights?
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, 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. To learn more about what we’re doing to deter the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.
Lowell Observatory is located at an elevation of 7,200 feet, so it’s a good idea to pace yourself and stay hydrated if you’re not accustomed to high elevations. Water is available in our visitor center, and benches are placed throughout campus if you need to take a rest.
Most of the buildings on our campus are wheelchair accessible, with the exception of the Pluto Discovery Telescope. If special accommodations are needed for you or a member of your group, please contact our visitor center at (928) 774-3358 to notify a staff member at least 48 hours before your tour begins.
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.
Staying in Flagstaff?
Make The Most Out Of Your Visit
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. We hope you get to stay a while! See our list of suggested local hotels, dining, and attractions to check out during your visit.