North-Central Arizona Travel Guide

North-Central Arizona Sights

Lowell Observatory

  • 1400 W. Mars Hill Rd. Map It
  • West Flagstaff
  • Observatory/Planetarium
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 11/18/2015

Fodor's Review

In 1894 Boston businessman, author, and scientist Percival Lowell founded this observatory from which he studied Mars. His theories of the existence of a ninth planet sowed the seeds for the discovery of Pluto at Lowell in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh. The 6,500-square-foot Steele Visitor Center hosts exhibits and lectures and has a stellar gift shop. Several interactive exhibits—among them Pluto Walk, a scale model of the solar system—appeal to children. Visitors are invited, on some evenings, to peer through the 24-inch Clark telescope and the McAllister, a 16-inch reflector telescope. Day and evening viewings are offered year-round, but call ahead for a schedule. The Clark observatory dome is open and unheated, so dress for the outdoors. To reach the observatory, less than 2 miles from downtown, drive west on Route 66, which resumes its former name, Santa Fe Avenue, before it merges into Mars Hill Road.

Sight Information


1400 W. Mars Hill Rd., Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001, USA

Map It


928-233–3212; 928-233–3211-for recorded info


Sight Details:

  • $12
  • Mon.–Sat. 10–10, Sun. 10–5

Published 11/18/2015


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