Palomar Observatory Public Tours

Public Tours at Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory offers public, guided tours of the 200-inch Hale Telescope during the spring, summer and fall months of the year (typically starting mid-April and ending the last weekend in October). These one-hour-long guided tours are available on the weekends (Saturdays & Sundays). Tours cover the history and current scientific research of the Palomar Observatory, with a special emphasis on the 200-inch Hale Telescope.

2013 Tours

Time and Location

Public Tour start times are 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. Tours start on the back side of the 200-inch dome. 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 Visitor's Center) the day of the tour. Unfortunately we cannot offer online or advance ticket sales. The Gift Shop opens at 10:15 a.m. and tickets go on sale for all tours that day at that time.

Tickets are $5.00 per person, $3.00 for seniors (age 65 and over), children age 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. The tour is not recommended for children under six years of age. Sorry, we cannot accommodate pets on tours.

Please note that tours may be cancelled due to observatory operations or available staffing. Please check this page for updates.

There is no viewing through the Hale Telescope as a part of the tour.

Please note that the interior of the 200-inch dome is kept at nighttime temperatures (for an elevation of 5,500 feet!). Temperatures inside the dome are often in the 30s & 40s in April, May & October. We ask that you dress accordingly. High-heeled shoes are not recommended for the tours.

Palomar Observatory is a privately owned research facility.

Palomar Public Tour Page/v10April2013
Last updated: 02 May 2013 AFB