|Enjoying Nature||Native American History||Rock Hounding|
|Birdwatching||Astronomy||Ride the Dunes||Pamper Yourself|
Located just southwest of Safford, perched atop a mesa. It is a hands-on science facility for children and adults. Most visitors express surprise at finding it in a rural area.
The park’s rural setting is ideal for its astronomy-focused exhibits and observatory. Because there is very little ground light interference, the stars are more readily visible here than they are in any urban center. The Gov Aker Observatory (named after the former mayor of Safford) regularly hosts star parties and knowledgeable guest speakers.
Mount Graham International Observatory
Visitors also can reserve space on the Discovery Park hosted tours of the Observatory. The Mount Graham facility houses a state- of-the-art collection of telescopes, including the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and the Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope.
Reservations are required for the tours, and should be made at least two weeks in advance. You can get more information at www.discoverypark.com or through the Chamber of Commerce (see below).
The Mount Graham International Observatory will soon be home to the world’s largest binocular telescope as well. The tour includes narrated shuttle ride up the scenic mountain terrain, lunch near the summit, and a guided tour of current observatories. Galileo Galilei’s original telescope is on display here.
The tour continues upon return to Discovery Park with a night of star and planetary observation with the Gov Aker Observatory’s 20-inch reflecting telescope and a virtual tour of the solar system on the full-motion space shuttle flight simulator.
You can make reservations through the Graham County Chamber of Commerce...
The Graham County Chamber of Commerce
1111 West Thatcher Blvd. (US Hwy 70)
Safford, AZ 85546
Phone: (Toll free) 888-837-1841