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Lick Observatory: Public Evening Tour

Lick Observatory: Public Evening Tours
Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, CA
Thursday, Jun 18, 2020 at 6:30 PM (PT)

The "behind the scenes" walking tour of Lick Observatory starts at the main building's Visitor Center. You will learn about the history, technology, and current science being conducted at the various telescopes along the tour route. A highlight of the tour is going in the Shane 3-m dome to see the mountain’s largest telescope up close.

After the walking tour you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy the sunset and the Gift Shop will be open. During twilight a history lecture about James Lick and the building of the observatory will be presented. Once the sky is dark (and weather permitting), viewing celestial objects through the 36-inch historic Great Refractor will commence.

Complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are included with the tour.

General Admission - $75.00/ticket, sales begin 5/13/2020 @ 12:00 PM PT



Events are held rain or shine. Weather may restrict telescope viewings, but other activities will still take place.

No refunds, returns or exchanges on purchased tickets, unless the event is cancelled.

Due to historic construction of telescope domes and safety concerns, the telescopes are not wheelchair accessible at this time. Those having difficulty navigating stairs may also find the telescopes inaccessible.

The walking tour involves up to one mile of walking and some stairs.

Due to safety regulations, children must be at least 8 years of age for admission. No exceptions. Due to late hours the program may also be difficult for children under 12.

Please allow one hour drive from San Jose. The event typically lasts between 4 and 6 hours; prepare to drive home late in the evening. Driving directions and parking information can be found here.

There is no food available at the observatory other than snack and beverage vending machines.

It can be surprisingly cool and windy on top of Mt. Hamilton at any time of year and much of the tour is outdoors or in unheated spaces, so please dress accordingly and plan to bring layers.

There is no gas at the observatory, be sure to have enough fuel before heading up Mt. Hamilton.

More Information: Visit us online here for more details or email us at

Photo courtesy of (c) Laurie Hatch

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Ticket Options

General Admission

Ticket TypePriceQuantity
General (8+)

Event Location
7281 Mountt Hamilton Road Mount Hamilton, CA 95140

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