Tours at Palomar Observatory
Due to the heavy snowfall on the mountain, Palomar Observatory has suspended all science operations and is closed to the public for the indefinite future.
The following options are available to Palomar Observatory visitors:
Most Palomar visitors will tour the accessible areas (see map below) on their own.
Public Guided Tours (June – October)
In 2023, the guided tours will be offered on weekends starting Saturday June 10 until Sunday October 29.
This year, public guided tours of the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope are available to visitors on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) summer and fall—from the second weekend in June to the last weekend October.
Time and Location
Public tour start times are 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Please follow the signs from the Visitor Center to the tour meeting point. Tours start on the northwest side of the Hale Telescope dome (immediately to the left of the large service doors as viewed facing the dome from the west). To ensure you make your tour (and in consideration of others) please be on time.
Public tour tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are sold in the Observatory Gift Shop in the Greenway Visitor Center the day of the tour. We cannot offer online or advance ticket sales. The Gift Shop opens at 9:15 am and tickets go on sale for all tours that day at that time.
Tickets are $5.00 per person, $3.00 for children (ages 5 through 12) and seniors (age 65 and over), maximum 6 tickets per customer. Tour presentations are unsuitable for children under 5 years of age, hence our minimum age requirement.
Please note that tours may be cancelled due to Observatory operations or available staffing. Check this page for updates.
Questions? We've answered many common visiting, media, and academic questions in our public FAQ page.