The Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory in Overgaard, AZ borders the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and offers some of the best viewing, using the largest public observing telescope, in Arizona, and, offers fun learning experiences for all ages.
Drive less, see more here at ASO. We charge similar to other observatories, have as dark of skies as them, but, we use a telescope that is 2x, 3x, or even 5x larger. Come see the difference.
* Night Sky Observing Program.
Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory is open to the public most nights of the year using a 36-inch telescope, the Southwest's largest dedicated public telescope! Enjoy spectacular views through a Meter-Class telescope (0.914 meters diameter) at our World-Class observing site (measured technically darker than Kitt Peak). Some of the darkest skies in Arizona at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory provide you stunning detail of planets, nebulae, and galaxies. This is fun for all ages...an awesome experience! Drive less, see more, that's us at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory.
* 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; Canon DSLR 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.
* 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.
Buy tickets here.
Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory has the largest public viewing telescope in Arizona.
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.
This 3-3.5 hour program starts in early evening and accommodates 16 people. But we can also handle and accommodate larger special groups (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: 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. Should the Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory cancel the program for any reason, you will be given a full refund. Programs may be delayed due to several reasons, weather being one, and can start later than planned.
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.
From Phoenix your drive time will be shorter to visit us in Overgaard.
Click here for a map and directions to one of the best night-time experiences for all ages.