L. McDermott 27 July 2017

K. Summers 9 August 2012
M.D. De La Pe\xF1a, 15 August 2007

Planning a trip to the mountain?


Request a bedroom by emailing You will receive a response with your room assignment. If there are no rooms available at the Observatory, Kara Hatch will check with SMT and/or the VATT if they have availability. Do NOT contact either telescope directly. When staying at SMT or the VATT, be sure to stay in your assigned room. Also, you *MUST* have prior permission to stay in at either location. In general, people working at night in the Observatory have priority for the rooms.

If your trip has been changed or canceled, please email, and to release the room, and vehicle respectively. Availability of the rooms on the mountain can be very scarce.


In the event there are no rooms available on the mountain, you will need to stay in a hotel in Safford.Send an email to for a reservation in Safford. The Business Office will make a reservation for you at the Quality Inn in Safford, where we have the State of Arizona reduced rate which will be billed directly to LBTO .

IMPORTANT- if your trip has been changed or canceled, the reservation must be canceled by 3:00 PM the day before so LBTO will not be charged. Please notify


To reserve an LBTO vehicle, email as soon as you know your schedule. You will receive confirmation that a vehicle has been reserved for you. Using an LBTO vehicle is preferred when traveling on LBTO business. The day before your trip, you can find the keys and parking map on the wall in the copy room 557. Gasoline should be purchased at a station that takes a Voyager credit card which is in the vehicle.

Review LBTO Vehicle Travel Safety Requirements: Vehicle Travel


As a last resort, if you need to use your own vehicle you must supply a description of the vehicle, license plate number, and state that issued the plates. MGIO must be notified in advance, preferably at least one week prior to the day of your trip. Reimbursement for your trip will be in the form of mileage traveled from home to the mountain and back. You will need to supply your odometer reading prior to and at the end of your trip.

Note that any damage to your personal vehicle is NOT covered by the University.


When staying on the mountain, you are responsible for bringing your own food to sustain yourself. There are five refrigerators, two stoves, two microwave ovens, and a variety of pots, pans, dishes, and utensils available for use. LBTO has a hot/cold water dispenser, a variety of tea bags, and coffee for all.

Since LBTO is at 10,500 feet, there can be serious snow in the winter time. Please pack your clothing accordingly. Since you may be going to different parts of the Observatory you should wear comfortable shoes and have a warm coat in the Fall and Winter months.

Review LBTO Safety Information: Preparing for Site (Mountain) Visits


If your Duty Post is Tucson, you are entitled to per diem reimbursement when working at the mountain. A reduced per diem (75%) is given if you travel to/from the mountain on the same day. Expense reports for multiple days should be submitted monthly to Please include your dates of travel, departure time from home, and time leaving the Observatory.


  • Make sure you have your CAT card, mountain keys (keys for the buildings and the number "5" key for the gate) for your trip.
  • In case of emergency, or your family would like to contact you, the numbers for the summit are:
    TUCSON exchange: 520-626-1466
    SAFFORD exchange: 928-428-4286, 928-428-9768
    Check the latest phone listing for additional numbers.
Topic revision: r5 - 10 May 2021, DavidCarroll
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