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“Interesting & pretty area but cannot see telescopes”

National Solar Observatory/ Sacramento Peak
Ranked #2 of 3 things to do in Sunspot
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed July 21, 2017

My husband and I went to the National Solar Observatory (Sunspot) on a Thursday. We drove up from Alamogordo early in the morning in hopes to see more wildlife. We were not disappeared. We saw elk along Sunspot scenic byway at 8:30 am (last week in June). It was 78 degrees when we left Alamogordo and 51 degrees when we arrived at Sunspot. We spent about 30 minutes walking around the buildings in a park setting. Visitors are not allowed inside the building to see the telescopes. There were signs outside each building describing the telescopes. Half of the telescopes are old and no longer in use. There is a great view of the valley below. We could even see White Sands Missile Range. The visitor center and museum is open 9 am to 5 pm. The visitor center has nice restrooms, a small museum and an unfriendly lady worker inside. If you are in Cloudcroft, the beauty of the ride to Sunspot and a nice short walk through Sunspot is certainly worth 2 hours of time. Apache Point Observatory is about 1 mile from Sunspot and is worth a short stop as well.

3  Thank M J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 29 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2017

A good self-guided walking tour of the different telescopes of the observatory, however, they cannot be seen from inside. However, its worth while for the scenic views of the White Sands and Alamogordo below.

1  Thank rb123456789rb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 27, 2017

great experience. Take your time and meander around the site at your own time. Enjoy the main tower. Very chatty scientists who will happily answer your questions.

Thank Rtj_lc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 31, 2016 via mobile

Sooooo boring. Even for my husband who is an astronomy nut.

A very bored attendant sullenly takes your $3 per person so you can walk around a very small display of very old pictures and equipment. Not one picture is a solar flare or sunspot which I would expect to see at a solar observatory.

The only saving grace for this waste of money and time was the view which, by the way, is free unless you want to use the tourist telescope.

Beautiful country and drive though.

Pass in this one.

2  Thank SnapDragonfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed October 17, 2016

Columbus Day weekend and visitor center closed. But don't dismay. Keep on the walking tour because the buildings are open and the bathrooms at the visitor center are available for public use, even tho the center itself is closed. Able to enter the solar observatory. Scientists doing some experiments so we didn't actually see the sun itself. Continue on the path and you'll get to an iron stairway. If you go up that stairway and walk to the back of the building, you'll see a spectacular view of Alamogordo, White Sands, Holloman Air Force Base, and the entire area. For those of you who may be fledgling astronomy buffs, this is an interesting stop.

Thank directconnect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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