Palomar Observatory – Hale 200 inch Telescope Tour

The famous 200-inch Hale Telescope is open to the public for tours every Saturday and Sunday.  The tour takes you inside the Observatory building and onto the observing floor under the 200-inch telescope. 

To earn extra credit you must take the guided tour inside of the telescope dome.  The free SELF-GUIDED TOUR WILL NOT EARN YOU EXTRA CREDIT.


Here is a short informational video about the tours given at Palomar Observatory.


Here are a few things you should know:

  • The tour times are currently 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:00pm
  • The tour lasts about one hour
  • Ticket prices are currently $5
  • Public tours are available April – October,
  • The tours often sell out.  Arrive early.
  • Children under 6 are not allowed.
  • Dogs are not allowed on the tour.
  • The temperature inside the dome is chilly compared to the outside temperature.  Bring a sweatshirt or light jacket.
  • There are no food/vending facilities at the Observatory.
  • The travel time from San Marcos or Temecula to the Observatory is about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • The Observatory closes to the public at 4pm.  No overnight camping is allowed on the premises.


IMPORTANT!  The observatory occasionally cancels tours due to equipment work.  It is essential that you check their website before you make the long drive up the mountain to make sure that tours haven’t been cancelled for the day of your visit.

CLICK HERE for information, maps, and directions.

How to earn your extra credit:

Credit will only be given upon presentation of your tour ticket stub and a report (one FULL page typed, double spaced) describing your experience.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

VALUE:  1.5% extra credit