Booking, Check-in, Rooms, Meals, Flashlights, Check-out
Booking All room arrangements including payment must be made in advance through Lick's Santa Cruz offices: Email or call (831) 459-2772 at least one week in advance. Please check with Santa Cruz for current rates. We repeat: Neither reservations nor payment may be made on the mountain.
Facilites Access If a dorm room isn't required, but access to the domes and technical facilities is needed, e.g. to work on instrument hardware or attend a telescope checkout, a key may be requested by emailing Requests for a key should include the date(s) and time(s) needed, name, affiliation, contact information, and explanation of the purpose of the visit. Approved key requestors will pick up their keys at the Astronomer's Dining Hall on the requested date and time. Directions and access code will be provided upon approval.
Checking In Check in time is 4:00 pm. Your first stop will be the Astronomer's Dining Hall to pick up your keys and get your room assignment. Coming from San Jose, the diner will be the first building (yellow with white trim) on your right when you reach the top of the mountain (see map). Enter the keycode at the main entrance below the portico on the right. Inside you will find your keys, site maps, a telephone (mountain access only) and a bathroom.

DO NOT share the keycode with anyone, no matter how good their story. Please refer any inquiring strangers to a mountain staff member, preferably a support scientist.

Rooms Observers and other visitors staying on Mount Hamilton are accommodated in two separate "dormitories" (actually more like modest hotel rooms), the New and Old Dorms (see map).

After you have your room assignment and keys, you may want to find your room to make sure the key opens the door and that you have everything you need in the way of extra blankets (it can get very cold in the winter), alarm clock, and so on.

Please be advised that lodging charges are per bed, not per room.
Using articles from another bed or another room will result in additional fees.

Spare blankets are available in the closet.

A desk/table has been provided, please use it in lieu of eating or using a laptop on the additional beds.

Checkout time is 2pm.

Meals YOU MUST BRING AND PREPARE YOUR OWN FOOD (see Supermarkets below for grocery stores located at the base of the mountain).

We regret we can no longer offer meal service. However, we have a full kitchen for observer's use in the 3m, and have remodeled the 3m Library to be a pleasant place to eat and meet with your colleagues. A second kitchen and eating facility is available in the SW corner of the old Diner building, with entrance via the westernmost door (to the right of the main entrance, served by a disabled ramp). Both kitchens have electric stoves and ovens, microwave ovens, full-sized refrigerators, pots, pans, coffee pots, utensils, dishes, glasses, mugs, and flatware. Should you find anything essential missing or non-functional, please inform a staff member and we'll do what we can to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

Please clean up after yourself. Please wash dirty dishes, clean up all spilled food etc. Upon departure, please make sure all your food is disposed of (either discard it, put it on the labeled common shelves, or take it with you). THANK YOU!
Shane Kitchen

Diner Kitchen

Flashlights and Thermoses Small flashlights are attached to the dorm room key rings, though not all key chains have flashlights. You may want to bring your own flashlight.

Thermoses are available in the primary kitchen locations. It is preferred that you return them to the kitchen from which you borrowed them; otherwise you may leave thermoses in your room.

Checking Out Before leaving the mountain check your room and the telescope where you've been working to make sure you are not leaving any personal items behind. You may return keys and thermoses to the diner.

If you leave the mountain before the scheduled end of your run, be sure to notify a member of the technical staff as well as

Supermarkets The listed supermarkets are in San Jose, CA, about a 45 to 50 minute drive from the Observatory. There are other supermarkets, but these are the major chains that are conveniently located.

  • Lucky's 3457 McKee Road
  • Lucky's 3270 S. White Road
  • Safeway 2980 E. Capitol Expressway
  • FoodMaxx 1972 Tully Road
  • Lion Asian Market 1710 Tully Road
  • Mi Pueblo 320 N. Capitol Avenue
  • Manila Oriental Market 2812 S. White Road
  • Walmart Neighborhood Market 4055 Evergreen Village Square

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