Most of the time when people visit Palomar Observatory they can only see the Hale Telescope from the Visitors Gallery (shown above). If you visit on a weekend through the end of October you can get on the other side for a guided tour.
Tours are offered at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 per person for all ages. Tour tickets are sold in the gift shop the day of the tour on a first-come, first-served basis. The gift shop opens at 10:00 a.m. No prior reservations are taken. The tour is not recommended for children under six years of age. Sorry, no pets.
Tours cover the history and current scientific research of the Palomar Observatory, with a special emphasis on the 200-inch Hale Telescope. Remember it can be pretty cool in the dome as the interior is kept at nighttime temperatures (for an elevation of 5,500 feet). High-heeled shoes are not recommended for the tours.
These one-hour-long tours are held on Saturdays & Sundays only now through the end of October.