Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory

Please note using Google Maps for directions will not be correct. Please use the link below for maps and turn-by-turn directions.

The Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory in Overgaard, AZ borders the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and with Meter-Class telescope (0.914 meters diameter) at our World-Class observing site (measured technically darker than Kitt Peak), offers some of the best astronomy viewing using the Southwest's largest dedicated public telescope, and, if 36-inch telescope aperture wasn't enough, there is an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope bolted to the side of the main telescope! This is fun for all ages...an awesome experience!

* Night Sky Observing Program.

Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory is open to the public most nights of the year using a 36-inch telescope, providing stunning detail of planets, nebulae, and galaxies. This is fun for all ages...an awesome experience!

* Couple's Night - Night Sky Photography Workshop.

A romantic night under the stars learning about cameras, astronomy, and, each other. Everything is provided for you; Camera, Wide-Field Lens, Tripod, World-Class Dark Skies, and, advice to take your very own beautiful star-filled images. Learn the constellations, how to photograph the Milky Way, capture star trails, long exposures, and light painting. A general astronomy course so you can easily understand moon cycles, Earth's orbit, how to find the Milky Way, planets, meteor showers, etc.

* Meteor Shower Adventure.

Throughout the year there are spectacular displays of 'Shooting Stars'; known as Meteors(!), streaking across the sky. On select nights we set up for an all-night adventure rain or shine. It is fun just to discuss astronomy, the constellations, Earth's orbit and how it intersects with debris left by comets which burn up in our atmosphere. Bring a lounge chair.

* Daytime Solar Observing Program (using both eyes and ears!)

See the Sun's surface safely, view the Solar Spectrum, and, hear the Sun on our decametric radio telescope.

Event Calendar for Ticket Purchases

The map, and turn-by-turn directions, to one of the best night-time experiences.

Highlights that may happen on upcoming nights, which are sure to please!

There could be a meteor seen from a major Meteor Shower, a meteor called a sporadic meteor which is random particles burning up in Earth's atmosphere, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, an International Space Station Fly-Over, Iridium Flare which is sunlight reflecting off of the Iridium satellite's solar panels.

Click on the 'Event Calendar Ticket Purchases' link above to view the calendar of events and take advantage of the many programs.

More info;

Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory has the largest public viewing telescope in Arizona.

From Phoenix your drive time will be about two hours to visit us in Overgaard.

We are at nearly 7000 feet elevation so having a warm coat is advisable as night time temperatures can be considerable cooler than at lower elevations.

Night programs starts in early evening and accommodate varying size groups of people. We can also handle and accommodate larger special groups, or, your smaller group for personal family fun (call for more information).

This program starts at varying times throughout the year based on when the sun sets. (Roughly 6pm Winter, 7pm Spring and Fall, 8pm Summer).

Cancellation Policy: Should the Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory cancel the program for any reason, you will be given a full refund or offered the option to reschedule. Programs may be delayed due to several reasons, weather being one, and can start later than planned. Small Groups (4 or less): 48 hours advance notice prior to your originally scheduled program date. If less than 48 hours notice is provided, tickets are non-refundable and cannot be rescheduled. Large Groups (5 or more): 5 days advance notice prior to your originally scheduled program date. If less than 5 days notice is provided, tickets are non-refundable and cannot be rescheduled. Please contact us by email or phone to initiate a refund or to reschedule your deep space adventure. Certain programs have no refund as they are held rain or shine.

With low levels of illumination, step-ladders, and a duration of 3 to 3.5 hours, this program is not suitable for young children and may not be for those with mobility issues. This program requires moderate physical agility and ability to ascend/descend 3 - 5 steps on a step ladder. The Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory area is NOT wheelchair accessible.

Trained service dogs are permitted, but otherwise no pets are allowed at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory.