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Mount Graham International Observatory - 4 Things to Know Before Visiting

1480 AZ-366, Safford, AZ 85546, USA


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About Mount Graham International Observatory

This is the research arm for the Department of Astronomy at The University of Arizona. MGIO consists of three telescopes: the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, the Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter (Radio) Telescope of the Arizona Radio Observatory, and the Large Binocular Telescope, the world's most powerful telescope. Public tours of the MGIO are conducted by the Eastern Arizona College's (EAC) Discovery Park Campus between mid-April and mid-October.

Attractions Near Mount Graham International Observatory

Dankworth Pond
Dankworth Pond1.95km from Mount Graham International Observatory

Dankworth Pond is 150 acres of land surrounding a 15-acre pond. The park was once a fish hatchery for raising catfish. It has picnic ramadas, trails, and so more.

Roper Lake State Park
Roper Lake State Park4.57km from Mount Graham International Observatory

Roper Lake State Park is located 6 miles south of Safford in Graham County in southeast Arizona and sits at the base of Mt. Graham. It surrounds around 32-acre Roper Lake and it includes a boat ramp, a beach for swimming, a picnic area, a campground, cabins, and a hot spring. The lake is stocked with bass and trout, and boats are limited to small electric motors. This beautiful park is in a beautiful location surrounded by the sky island Pinaleño Mountains range, including Mount Graham.

Frye Mesa Reservoir
Frye Mesa Reservoir10.84km from Mount Graham International Observatory

Frye Mesa Reservoir is an excellent place to camp out for a night or spend a day escaping the southern Arizona heat. This Reservoir contains both Apache and Gila trout, making it one of the only places to legally catch Gila trout in Arizona. Frye Mesa offers spectacular views of the Gila River Valley below and the rocky peak above.

San Simon Valley
San Simon Valley12.68km from Mount Graham International Observatory

The San Simon Valley is a broad valley east of the Chiricahua Mountains, in the northeast corner of Cochise County, Arizona and southeastern Graham County, with a small portion near Antelope Pass in Hidalgo County of southwestern New Mexico. The valley trends generally north–south but in its northern portion trends northwest–southeast.

Mount Graham
Mount Graham13.75km from Mount Graham International Observatory

Mount Graham is the highest of the peaks that breach the 10,000-foot barrier, while nearby Hawk Peak is home to the Mount Graham Observatory, its buildings visible from below and even from vantage points on distant peaks. It is the highest elevation in Graham County, Coronado National Forest and the Pinaleño Mountains. It is also the southernmost peak and land area in the continental United States above 10,000 feet. A good trekking destination and also there are so many things to do.

Heliograph Peak
Heliograph Peak13.82km from Mount Graham International Observatory

Heliograph Peak is a subsidiary summit of Mount Graham in the Pinaleño Mountains. There is a good forest road to the top, and the peak is probably the best in the range for summit views, given that Mount Graham itself is off-limits and wooded, and the other high peaks are usually wooded too.

Where is Mount Graham International Observatory

Discover More Attractions in Graham County, Where Mount Graham International Observatory Is Located

Graham County
Graham County
27 attractions

Graham County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state. Today, the area's natural wonders attract city dwellers seeking adventure and relaxation - backpacking through Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, hiking alongside Bonita Creek, floating down the Gila River, fishing on Roper Lake, or relaxing in natural mineral hot springs.