Public Ticket Nights at Mount Wilson Observatory

We’re gearing up for an exciting 2024 season at Mount Wilson: lectures, concerts, tours, arts events, public telescope viewing nights, and more! Website updates coming soon.

If you’d like to be among the first to know about next season’s schedule, you can sign up for our mailing list.

The astronomical seeing on Mount Wilson is often exceptional. Don’t miss this opportunity to come up by yourself or with a few friends or family to explore space!

Our popular Public Ticket Nights allow individuals, rather than just groups, to experience the thrill of viewing celestial objects through our large, historic telescopes, the 60- and 100-inch telescopes–the two largest in the world dedicated to public viewing.

We offer three kinds: 60-inch Telescope Sessions, 100-inch Telescope Sessions, and “Hyper” nights, where attendees will use both telescopes, switching midway through the session.

The telescope sessions are guided by an experienced telescope operator and session director, both with a thorough knowledge of the best objects to observe and the history of the Observatory, to enhance your experience. You are invited to bring any food and non-alcoholic drinks you wish. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided. Please bring extra warm clothing, as it is usually cooler on the mountain than down in the valley. Come up and share a spectacular night of astronomy with other space enthusiasts. No children under 12 are permitted.

By purchasing a ticket to an observing session at the Mount Wilson Telescope(s), the purchaser agrees to each of the Terms and Conditions.


No Upcoming Events

Things to Know About Public Ticket Nights

Tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. They are non-refundable and non-transferrable, unless the session is cancelled by us for some reason beyond our control. Once you have purchased your tickets, the session director will contact you with specific instructions on where and when to meet and other details. If you have questions, please email our Public Ticket Night Coordinator at:

These events are observing sessions, and therefore no mounting of cameras onto the telescope is allowed. We also discourage eyepiece photography to be respectful of each participants opportunity to view the objects and preserve our night vision.

All attendees must be ticketed, no discounts are given, and all sales are final.

The event will start at or before sunset and end at 1:00 am. There is a limit of four tickets per individual or family, and we cannot accommodate children under age twelve. All ticketed minor children must be accompanied by a ticketed responsible adult.

The Observatory is located at an elevation of 5700 feet with  many stairs and steep pathways and is not easily accessible to persons with physical disabilities. Those with known cardiac and respiratory conditions may also want to consider this before requesting a ticket.

Ticket holders are responsible for their own transportation to and from Mount Wilson. A map and driving directions can be found here.

60-inch and 100-inch Telescope Viewing Terms and Conditions

By purchasing a ticket to an observing session at the Mount Wilson Telescope(s), the purchaser agrees to each of the following Terms and Conditions:

  1. All ticket sales are final and non-refundable except in the case of technical issues preventing us from operating the telescope that evening. In the event of cloudy weather, the ticket purchaser will be offered a future night of observing.
  2. No more than four tickets may be purchased by one individual. Tickets may not be sold or otherwise transferred to another person except by gift.
  3. Children under 12 years of age may not attend an observing session. Each minor child must be accompanied by a ticketed adult.
  4. Ticket purchaser acknowledges that the Mount Wilson Institute (hereinafter “MWI”) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation that operates Mount Wilson Observatory pursuant to agreements with the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the United State Forest Service. Visitor understands and acknowledges that the facilities at Mount Wilson are not open to the general public and that access thereto is by invitation and by agreement.
  5. Ticket purchaser agrees to follow all rules, regulations and customs that are promulgated for visitors at Mount Wilson. Visitors will comply with all reasonable instructions of guides, docents and other personnel conducting visits to the facilities on Mount Wilson. Visitor will also comply with all rules and regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Violation of these requirements may result in suspension of Mount Wilson visiting privileges.
  6. Ticket purchaser shall defend, indemnify, and hold MWI and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, their trustees, officers and employees harmless from and against any and all claims, actions, suits, proceedings, costs, expenses, damages, injuries and liabilities of any kind or nature, including attorney’s fees arising out of, or in connection with, the Visitor’s use of the facilities at Mount Wilson. This indemnification shall not apply to negligence or intentional act that is solely caused by officers, agents, employees, or servants of MWI.
  7. Ticket purchaser agrees to assume all risks of loss to persons or property which may occur during their visit except such loss as may be occasioned or caused solely by gross negligence or intentional act of any of the officers, agents, employees, or servants of MWI.
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