Lick Observatory

7281 Mount Hamilton Rd.
Mount Hamilton, CA 95140- Map It
(408) 274-5061

AAA Editor Notes

Lick Observatory is e. via Alum Rock Rd., then 19 mi. on narrow, winding Mount Hamilton Rd. (SR 130). The observatory, at the 4,209-foot summit of Mount Hamilton, was built in 1888 and is the center of observational astronomy for the University of California. A visitor center in the Main Building contains exhibits, high-definition video displays and the original 36-inch refracting telescope. Talks, given in the dome of the 36-inch refractor, relate the history of the observatory and provide information about current research utilizing the nine telescopes at the mountaintop. A short walk leads to the Shane Dome, where the 120-inch reflector can be seen from a visitors gallery; the gallery also offers an audiovisual presentation and interpretive displays. Note: Mount Hamilton Rd. is closed during heavy snowfalls. Automotive services are not available. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.
Free.
Hours: Visitor center open Thurs.-Sun. noon-5. Talks at the 36-inch Great Lick Refractor start at the gift shop and are given every hour on the half-hour 12:30-4:30. Visitor gallery at the 120-inch telescope open Thurs.-Sun. noon-5. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.