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Lowell Observatory

This observatory is famous for discovering the dwarf planet Pluto and features many educational activities, historic telescopes and events for visitors.

Visit Lowell Observatory for daytime guided tours and nighttime telescope viewing sessions. Established in the late 19th century, the observatory is one of the oldest in the United States. The facility operates several telescopes, including the Pluto Discovery Telescope, for historical, educational and research purposes.

Start at the Steele Visitor Center on the Lowell Observatory campus. Here you’ll get acquainted with tour options and knowledgeable guides. Lowell’s present research telescopes are located outside Flagstaff; however, the campus still operates as an administration and visitor hub. Venture outward from Steele Visitor Center to find historic telescope domes and other fascinating Lowell Observatory areas.

Take the Pluto Tour to see the Pluto Discovery Telescope. This device was built in the late 1920s for the specific purpose of sighting the hypothetical 9th planet in our solar system. In 1930, observatory assistant Clyde Tombaugh discovered an object in the telescope’s glass negatives. The object was later named Pluto and the discovery marks one of the most important moments in United States astronomical history.

Attend an evening viewing through the Clark Telescope, a 24-inch (61-centimeter) refracting telescope, built in the late 19th century. The telescope, listed as a National Historic Landmark structure, was used to study moons, double planets, comets and other celestial objects. In the 1980s, Clark Telescope’s purpose shifted from research to education, where it has since amazed more than 2 million guests.

Stop at the Rotunda Museum to see some of the observatory’s most precious artifacts, including measuring and calculating devices. The museum contains displays on the Pluto discovery and moon mapping for the Apollo program. Exhibits on the expanding universe discovery and the Lowell family history also feature at the museum.

Lowell Observatory, open daily, is located in Flagstaff, Arizona. Use a public parking area next to the Steele Visitor Center. The cost of admission covers both day and evening programs. Reservations are not essential; however, it’s a good idea to check the official Lowell Observatory website for special events, tour times and seasonal programs.

Visit Lowell Observatory to look through state-of-the-art telescopes and learn about the facility’s monumental discoveries.


Lodging Near Lowell Observatory

See all 541 properties near Lowell Observatory
Days Inn by Wyndham Flagstaff - West Route 66

Days Inn by Wyndham Flagstaff - West Route 66

1000 West Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ
    2.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Conveniently located near to the ski slopes, this motel in Flagstaff is within 3 miles (5 km) of Riordon Mansion, Northern Arizona University and Lowell Observatory. ...

    Days Inn by Wyndham Flagstaff - West Route 66AU$67

    Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff

    Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff

    300 S Milton Rd, Flagstaff, AZ
      3.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Southside Neighborhood, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Flagstaff City Hall and Northern Arizona University. Lowell Observatory is 1.4 mi (2.2 ...

      Drury Inn & Suites FlagstaffAU$173

      La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Flagstaff

      La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Flagstaff

      2015 S Beulah Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ
        2.5 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located near the slopes, this Woodlands Village hotel is situated in the entertainment district, within 1 mile (2 km) of Riordon Mansion and Northern Arizona ...

        La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham FlagstaffAU$97

        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Flagstaff Downtown, AZ

        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Flagstaff Downtown, AZ

        224 S Mikes Pike, Flagstaff, AZ
          2.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Conveniently located near the ski slopes, this Southside Neighborhood motel is situated in the city centre within 2 miles (3 km) of Flagstaff City Hall, Northern ...

          Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Flagstaff Downtown, AZAU$115

          Baymont by Wyndham Flagstaff

          Baymont by Wyndham Flagstaff

          2005 S Milton Rd, Flagstaff, AZ
            2.5 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located near the slopes, this Flagstaff hotel is situated in the mountains, within a 15-minute walk of Riordon Mansion and Northern Arizona University, and is ...

            Baymont by Wyndham FlagstaffAU$85

            DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Flagstaff

            DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Flagstaff

            1175 W Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ
              3.5 out of 5.0
               
               

              Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Northern Arizona University, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Flagstaff City Hall and Thorpe Park. Lowell ...

              DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel FlagstaffAU$164

              Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand Canyon

              Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand Canyon

              1008 E Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ
                2.5 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in the heart of Flagstaff, this hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from West of the Moon Gallery and within 3 miles (5 km) of Northern Arizona University and Lowell ...

                Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand CanyonAU$75

                Residence Inn by Marriott Flagstaff

                Residence Inn by Marriott Flagstaff

                100 North Humphreys Street, Flagstaff, AZ
                  3.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Downtown Flagstaff, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Flagstaff City Hall and Northern Arizona University. Lowell Observatory is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) ...

                  Residence Inn by Marriott FlagstaffAU$191

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.